1Kimberly K. Trout, CNM, PhD(c), is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia.
The Neuromatrix Theory of Pain: Implications for Selected Nonpharmacologic Methods of Pain Relief for Labor
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2004 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 482–488, November-December 2004
How to Cite
Trout, K. K. (2004), The Neuromatrix Theory of Pain: Implications for Selected Nonpharmacologic Methods of Pain Relief for Labor. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 49: 482–488. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2004.07.009
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- pain relief;
Women experience the pain of labor differently, with many factors contributing to their overall perception of pain. The neuromatrix theory of pain provides a framework that may explain why selected nonpharmacologic methods of pain relief can be quite effective for the relief of pain for the laboring woman. The concept of a pain “neuromatrix” suggests that perception of pain is simultaneously modulated by multiple influences. The theory was developed by Ronald Melzack and represents an expansion beyond his original “gate theory” of pain, first proposed in 1965 with P. D. Wall. This article reviews several nonpharmacologic methods of pain relief with implications for the practicing clinician. Providing adequate pain relief during labor and birth is an important component of caring for women during labor and birth.