The Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center is a multidisciplinary center committed to improving the understanding and management of disorders distinguished by symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. The group has been instrumental in establishing that the systemic conditions and regional pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, osteoarthritis, low back pain, and post-deployment syndromes all have common pathogenic and clinical features.
One of our primary areas of interest has been in studying the central nervous system contributions to these conditions, which we refer to as the “centralization” of pain. We are particularly interested in studying the underlying mechanisms of pain centralization, as well as how peripheral and central factors together lead to the experience of pain.
In addition to using a wide range of research methods to study the underlying mechanisms of chronic pain conditions, we are also focused on identifying and developing better treatments for individuals with chronic pain. We have had a longstanding interest in non-pharmacological therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapies, exercise, and acupuncture, as well as in performing early testing of new pharmacological therapies and medical devices that might be more effective than our currently available therapies.
While we are part of the Department of Anesthesiology in the University of Michigan Medical School, we maintain strong ties to many other departments across Michigan Medicine, as well as to most of the other schools and colleges at the University of Michigan, and collaborate with investigators worldwide.
In addition to this strong research mission, we are also dedicated to providing current, evidence-based information to people with pain and fatigue, their family and friends, and health care providers. An excellent example of this is Fibroguide, which was developed by Dr. Williams in our center, shown to be effective in treating fibromyalgia in a controlled trial, and now is freely available and widely used by both patients and providers to treat individuals with any type of chronic pain. You can watch Dr. Clauw, the Director of the CPFRC, talking about this in the video showcased to the left.