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    The construct of "nociplastic pain" has met with divergent receptions. On the one hand it has been enthusiastically embraced, to the extent of conflation with central sensitization of nociception and the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) entity of "primary" pain, and the promulgation of "nociplastic pain syndromes." On the other hand, it has been rejected by those whose skepticism derives from the absence, by definition, of underlying activation of nociceptors. This article seeks to dissect these divergent views and search for reconciliation between them. One line of argument is that "nociplastic" pain, "primary" pain, and "central sensitisation of nociception" reflect different domains of inquiry and should not be conflated. "Nociplastic" pain emerges as a hypothesis that confers clinical legitimacy and utility; while that hypothesis needs a minor but important modification and continues to require testing, discipline in its usage is necessary. The other line of argument discovers an unexpected impasse: the construct of "nociplastic pain" describes a phenomenon that accords with the International Association for the Study of Pain definition of pain but occurs in the absence of nociception-as-currently-defined, thus challenging the definitional link between pain and tissue damage. The article offers a resolution of this impasse by suggesting that nociception-as-currently-defined be replaced by the resurrected concept of a nociceptive apparatus, activation of which is necessary but not sufficient for the experience of pain. One consequence would be to allow the assertions underpinning "nociplastic" to be tested empirically; another would be to relate the phenomenon of pain to a more biologically plausible basis than "actual" or "resemblance to" tissue damage. PERSPECTIVE: This article explores the major challenges posed by "nociplastic pain" to nosology and to nociception. While discipline in the clinical use of the construct is required, it also emerges that the main issue is the International Association for the Study of Pain definition of nociception. A reconceptualization of nociception is proposed for logical, biological, and clinical coherence. Copyright © 2023 United States Association for the Study of Pain, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Citation

    Milton Cohen, John Quintner, Asaf Weisman. Nociplastic Pain": A Challenge to Nosology and to Nociception. The journal of pain. 2023 Jul 22


    PMID: 37482233

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