Open access peer-reviewed Edited Volume

Pain Management - From Pain Mechanisms to Patient Care

Alice Witney

Trinity College Dublin

A behavioural neuroscientist interested in pain and the motor system; movement-related pain; the overlap in cortical circuitry for pain and movement; and the development of novel, robust non-invasive neuromodulation protocols for pain relief and motor learning.


Pathophysiology of Pain Chronic Pain Biomarkers Pain Measurement Novel Neurostimulation Protocols Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Vagal Nerve Stimulation Neuromodulation Quantitative Sensory Testing Physiotherapy Pain Self-Management Non-Pharmacological Pain Interventions

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About the book

The management of pain is a challenge for global health care. Chronic pain is prevalent in the population and yet tailored pain management is not commonly available. The epidemic of opioid addiction has been well publicized in the US and is a major concern for health care worldwide. To prevent problems of similar magnitude developing in Europe, recent guidelines no long recommend the prescription of opioids for diverse range of pain conditions including fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic cancer pain. However, alternatives to manage pain are not well developed, despite chronic pain recently being recognized as an independent disease by ICD-11. Effective management of pain, particularly chronic pain, is a particular challenge for health care for a number of reasons. These include the multiple underlying causes of pain as well as the uncertainty with regards to how chronic pain conditions develop in some patients after acute pain. For pain management to be effective, research into the mechanisms underlying the formation of chronic pain is essential; biomarkers of chronic pain could help to monitor the efficacy of an intervention; appropriate pain measurement would benefit understanding of appropriate management; quantitative sensory testing can provide insights into individual differences that may influence both pain experience and intervention success.

In terms of novel approaches to pain management; recent advances and technological developments lead to exciting new possibilities for pain management. New neuromodulation methodologies are emerging that have potential applications for pain control including photobiomodulation and optogenetics as well as non-invasive neurostimulation based on the application of weak electric currents. Novel stimulation protocols have also been developed for more traditional invasive forms of neuromodulation. For pharmacological approaches, the potential of cannabinoids for pain relief is becoming increasingly apparent. Well established non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, including physiotherapy, self-management and exercise are being developed. While pain management approaches are diversifying many difficulties remain to be addressed. Furthermore the COVID-19 pandemic has provided additional challenges for ensuring adequate pain management. However, the pandemic also has led to opportunities to implement remote monitoring and management interventions.

Overall this book will address the state-of-the art in innovative pain management taking a highly interdisciplinary approach; from physiological mechanisms and neuromodulation through to exercise, physiotherapy and self-management.

Publishing process

Book initiated and editor appointed

Date completed: August 31st 2021

Applications to edit the book are assessed and a suitable editor is selected, at which point the process begins.

Chapter proposals submitted and reviewed

Deadline for chapter proposals: September 28th 2021

Potential authors submit chapter proposals ready for review by the academic editor and our publishing review team.

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Approved chapters written in full and submitted

Deadline for full chapters: November 27th 2021

Once approved by the academic editor and publishing review team, chapters are written and submitted according to pre-agreed parameters

Full chapters peer reviewed

Review results due: February 15th 2022

Full chapter manuscripts are screened for plagiarism and undergo a Main Editor Peer Review. Results are sent to authors within 30 days of submission, with suggestions for rounds of revisions.

Book compiled, published and promoted

Expected publication date: April 16th 2022

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About the editor

Alice Witney

Trinity College Dublin

Alice Witney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and PI in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Her laboratory focuses on sensorimotor control and neuromodulation, including methods to optimise the use of non-invasive neuromodulation techniques to modify pain. She graduated in Psychology from the University of St Andrews, UK before doctoral study on human motor learning at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London UK. She worked as research fellow at the Department of Rheumatology, University of Birmingham, UK on projects to deliver community based educational resources for Rheumatology conditions; cost-effectiveness analysis for Rheumatological conditions and human motor control. She trained in neurobiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge UK prior to starting her independent laboratory.

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