Posted on 12-07-2017

PAIN Pictured illuminates how brain imaging is used to understand chronic pain

In the latest issue, UTCSP members Rachael Bosma, Kasey Hemington, and Karen Davis provide a visual report on the various brain imaging techniques that have revolutionized our understanding of the role of the brain in chronic pain. The figure provides an overview of three commonly used brain imaging techniques (functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion or white matter imaging, grey matter imaging), and how these tools have been used to detect key brain areas that appear to be abnormal in chronic pain patients. “Brain imaging methods have a lot to offer in terms of advancing our understanding of how the brain processes pain but these methods can be very challenging to understand and misinterpretations can lead us down the wrong path. We hope that this pain pictured article helps the broader pain community understand and appreciate both the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques,” says Rachael Bosma.

PAIN Pictured is an exciting platform for knowledge translation of pain. The three authors are also highly devoted to education and advocacy of pain through their twitter platforms: @kaseyhemington, @kren27, @rlbosma

To read this article, please visit

Reference: Bosma RL, Hemington KS, Davis, KD. (2017). Using magnetic resonance imaging to visualize the brain in chronic pain. Pain.