Central Sensitization

I debated for a long time over whether or not to give the topic of central sensitization its own page on my blog.  I originally began this blog writing about the topics of chronic pain and fibromyalgia, terms which most of my readers are more familiar with.

Central sensitization can be a huge factor in both of these conditions.  However, over time I realized that it’s really important to me to talk about central sensitization in its own right, so I decided to create a more prominent space for it.


Central sensitization is a process in which the central nervous system becomes more sensitive to pain, as result of some sort of trauma or insult to the body.  It’s had a huge impact on my own life, one that’s stretched far beyond the initial injuries that caused me to develop it in the first place.

I have recently begun to tell the story of “How I developed central sensitization,” in a series posts about how, after years of abusing my body as a high school athlete with an eating disorder, I finally stretched my nervous system to the breaking point.

I have also written a series of posts on my experience with pain neurophysiology education, an approach to physical therapy that taught me to better manage my condition.

These stories are incredibly personal to me, and it’s taken me a long time to get up the courage to tell them.  However, I believe central sensitization is a dramatically under-recognized problem, and my goal here is to raise awareness.  It took me years of suffering before I understood what was happening, and it shouldn’t have to be that way.

So on my blog, I tell personal stories, as well as do my best to explain some of the science, highlighting articles, research and researchers that I find inspiring and noteworthy.  After all, the more we know as patients, the better we can advocate for ourselves.

Here are some of the posts I’ve written on central sensitization so far:

How I developed central sensitization — the story of my own journey

Making sense of the science:

What is central sensitization?

The nervous system and chronic pain

How Clifford Woolf discovered central sensitization and why you shouldn’t blame yourself for chronic pain

Central Sensitivity Syndromes

What I really want you to know about how central sensitization has impacted my own life

Learning about central sensitization: the power of naming, and the future of pain treatment: Reasons to be optimistic as awareness grows

Todd Hargrove: Seven Things You Should Know About about Pain Science

Let’s give this a whirl: explaining a scientific article in plain English