Document Type


Publication Date



This chapter examines some of the basic human anatomy and neurobiology related to the perception of pain. In this context we will discuss how the nervous, endocrine, and musculoskeletal/fascial systems all contribute to our experience of this important sensation. We will look at some of the pathologic changes that occur when short-term pain becomes a long-term problem, and how stress can exacerbate pain perception. Finally, we will discuss how manual therapies may access peripheral nervous system structures in order to address some of the factors that can contribute to chronic pain patterns.


Originally published as chapter 2 in Integrative Pain Management: Massage, movement and mindfulness based approaches:

Werner, R, Bove GM (2016) Anatomy and Neurobiology of Pain. In: Thompson, DL & Brooks, M, eds. Integrative Pain Management: Massage, movement and mindfulness based approaches; Handspring Publishing: Edinburgh. pp 15-30.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.