In the early stages of pain the portions of the brain focused on pain and reward are dominant. This makes sense. Pain, after all, is produced in order to shift our behavior in one way or another. Walking on a broken leg induces pain. Staying off that leg induces healing (reward).
After a period of time with chronic pain the brain starts processing pain signals through it’s emotional networks.
As pain becomes chronic, however, the activity of the circuits focused on pain diminishes while emotion-based brain circuits involving the amygdala and basal ganglia grow in strength.
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