TrainPain Science

How it works

TrainPain uses cognitive neuroscience exercises to promote health in the body's pain modulatory system.

Research Partners
Background

The body has a special system that adjusts the volume on pain sensitivity.

"Gain Control" Pathways

The brain has "gain control" pathways that turn the volume down on pain related nerve signals. These pathways are called "descending inhibitory pathways". Nerves in this pathway are called OFF-cells, since they block pain.

The brain also has pathways that turn the volume up on pain related nerve signals. These pathways are called "descending facilitatory pathways". Nerves in this pathway are called ON-cells, since they amplify pain.


The balance of activity between these opposite pathways influences our sensitivity to pain.

Changes (i.e. Plasticity) of "Gain Control"

For some people, the "gain control" pathways that turn the volume DOWN on pain are less active.

While the pathways that turn the volume UP on pain are very active.

This results in higher pain sensitivity. Even small sensory stimuli feel intense and uncomfortable.

Retraining "Gain Control"

Recent neuroscience experiments have shown that sensory-perception exercises can activate the pain inhibition pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

By training with sensory exercises for several weeks, the brain activates these inhibitory pathways many times, and a special type of learning and change occurs called neuroplasticity.

The brain (and spinal cord) get more efficient at being able to activate these pain inhibitory pathways. And this promotes healthy pain sensitivity in the body.
Mechanism of Action

TrainPain delivers sensory-perception exercises & pain education to improve sensory modulation.

Promote Attentional Flexibility

Improve the brain's ability to flexibly shift attention between different body regions according to task demands (as opposed to being hypervigilant towards a specific body region or sensation).

Enhance Sensory Inhibition

Strengthen the central nervous system's ability to inhibit sensory processing of body sensations from specific body regions.

Reduce Threat Activity in the Amygdala

Train the brain to experience body sensations in the context of reward and play, rather than threat.

Improve Sensory Accuracy

Increase the brain's precision and speed in processing sensory signals from the body.

Increase Understanding of Pain

Gain insight on pain with engaging summaries of cutting edge neuroscience discoveries.
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