The Gate Control Theory of Chronic Pain

The Gate Control Theory of Chronic Pain is a famous theory about how pain works, devised by Patrick Wall and Ronald Melzack in 1965. The gate control theory of pain asserts that non-painful input closes the “gates” to painful input, which prevents pain sensation from traveling to the central nervous system. Therefore, stimulation by non-noxious input is able to suppresses pain.

Pain is a complex process that is experienced differently in various situations and is influenced by a countless number of factors. One’s experience of pain depends on how the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system interact in the way they process pain signals. The central nervous system comprises of the spinal cord and the brain. While, the peripheral nervous system include nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, branching nerves in the torso and extremities, as well as nerves in the lumbar spine region. (more…)