A timely and well-focused review by Farmer and Aziz  in this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain draws attention to the relative contribution of peripheral and central mechanisms to the so-called “Functional Gastro-Intestinal Disorders” (FGID) . These are diseases whose main, and sometimes only, symptom is pain hypersensitivity not explained by structural or biochemical abnormalities. As such, these disorders are part of a larger group of pain conditions, both somatic and visceral, whose pathophysiology is obscure and which are believed – and the key word is belief – to be the result of CNS hyperexcitability generated by central sensitization.It may seem presumptuous to start this commentary by reminding a Scandinavian audience that Vikings never wore horned helmets. This most enduring icon – who does not think of horned helmets when hearing the word Viking? – is a historical fabrication, a product of XIXth century romanticism, invented by the imaginative producers of Wagnerian operas who added this cumbersome and useless appendix to the Norsemen’s theatrical costumes . Yet, it stuck firmly in everyone’s mind to the point that horned helmets and Vikings have become inseparable. But just because something is repeated many times it does not make it
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Apr 1, 2014
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