Pain in Axial Spondyloarthritis: Insights from Immunology and Brain Imaging

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2021 May;47(2):197-213. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2020.12.007. Epub 2021 Feb 27.


Inflammatory back pain is characteristic of spondyloarthritis (SpA); however, this pain may not respond to treatment with NSAIDs or biologics. Pain is multifactorial and a combination of mechanical and inflammatory factors. A growing body of literature examines the impact of emotions on pain in SpA; many patients with this condition suffer from depression and fibromyalgia. Advanced imaging techniques can investigate the interplay of various brain networks in pain perception. Animal models have helped understand the interplay between the immune and nervous systems in pain generation and have highlighted differences in pain perception between the sexes.

Keywords: Dynamic pain connectome; Neuro-immune interface; Pain; Spondyloarthritis.

Publication types

  • Review