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      Quantitative sensory testing in physically active individuals and patients who underwent multidisciplinary pain therapy in the longitudinal course

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          The aim of this study was to evaluate possible differences of quantitative sensory testing (QST) results in healthy individuals (group control, n=20), physically active individuals (group sport, n=30) and in patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain (group pain, n=30).


          Thermal detection thresholds, thermal pain thresholds and blunt pressure pain thresholds were measured at various sites (T0). Additionally, group pain was treated in multidisciplinary pain therapy for 4 weeks. All groups were retested after 4 weeks to evaluate the reliability of QST measurements and to investigate possible early changes following treatment (T1).


          Importantly, QST-measurements showed stable test results for group sport and group control at both time points. Athletes demonstrated the highest pain thresholds in general (cold pain threshold mean in degree Celsius for the hand: 5.76, lower back right: 7.25, lower back left: 7.53; heat pain threshold mean in degree Celsius for the hand: 46.08, lower back right: 45.77, lower back left: 45.70; and blunt pressure pain mean in kilograms for the hand: 3.54, lower back right: 5.26, lower back left: 5.46). Patients who underwent therapy demonstrated significant differences at T1 (cold pain threshold hand mean in degree Celsius for the hand: 11.12 [T0], 15.12 [T1]; and blunt pressure pain mean in kilograms for the lower back right: 2.87 [T0], 3.56 [T1]). They were capable of enduring higher blunt pressure, but on the other hand cold pain tolerance had decreased ( P=0.045 and P=0.019, respectively).


          In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate significant differences of QST results among the three groups and we detected early changes following multidisciplinary pain therapy, which will be discussed.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Grading the severity of chronic pain.

          This research develops and evaluates a simple method of grading the severity of chronic pain for use in general population surveys and studies of primary care pain patients. Measures of pain intensity, disability, persistence and recency of onset were tested for their ability to grade chronic pain severity in a longitudinal study of primary care back pain (n = 1213), headache (n = 779) and temporomandibular disorder pain (n = 397) patients. A Guttman scale analysis showed that pain intensity and disability measures formed a reliable hierarchical scale. Pain intensity measures appeared to scale the lower range of global severity while disability measures appeared to scale the upper range of global severity. Recency of onset and days in pain in the prior 6 months did not scale with pain intensity or disability. Using simple scoring rules, pain severity was graded into 4 hierarchical classes: Grade I, low disability--low intensity; Grade II, low disability--high intensity; Grade III, high disability--moderately limiting; and Grade IV, high disability--severely limiting. For each pain site, Chronic Pain Grade measured at baseline showed a highly statistically significant and monotonically increasing relationship with unemployment rate, pain-related functional limitations, depression, fair to poor self-rated health, frequent use of opioid analgesics, and frequent pain-related doctor visits both at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. Days in Pain was related to these variables, but not as strongly as Chronic Pain Grade. Recent onset cases (first onset within the prior 3 months) did not show differences in psychological and behavioral dysfunction when compared to persons with less recent onset. Using longitudinal data from a population-based study (n = 803), Chronic Pain Grade at baseline predicted the presence of pain in the prior 2 weeks. Chronic Pain Grade and pain-related functional limitations at 3-year follow-up. Grading chronic pain as a function of pain intensity and pain-related disability may be useful when a brief ordinal measure of global pain severity is required. Pain persistence, measured by days in pain in a fixed time period, provides useful additional information.
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            Individual differences in pain sensitivity: genetic and environmental contributions.

            Large individual differences in pain sensitivity present a challenge for medical diagnosis and may be of importance for the development of chronic pain. Variance in pain sensitivity is partially mediated by genetic factors, but the extent of this contribution is uncertain. We examined cold-pressor pain and contact heat pain in 53 identical (MZ) and 39 fraternal (DZ) twin pairs, and 4 single twins to determine the heritability of the two phenotypes, and the extent to which the same genetic and environmental factors affect both pain modalities. An estimated 60% of the variance in cold-pressor pain and 26% of the variance in heat pain was genetically mediated. Genetic and environmental factors were only moderately correlated across pain modalities. Genetic factors common to both modalities explained 7% of the variance in cold-pressor and 3% of the variance in heat pain. Environmental factors common to both modalities explained 5% of variance in cold-pressor and 8% of the variance in heat pain. The remaining variance was due to factors that were specific to each pain modality. These findings demonstrate that cold-pressor pain and contact heat pain are mainly distinct phenomena from both a genetic and an environmental standpoint. This may partly explain disparate results in genetic association studies and argues for caution in generalizing genetic findings from one pain modality to another. It also indicates that differences in pain scale usage account for a minor portion of the variance, providing strong support for the validity of subjective pain ratings as measures of experienced pain.
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              Presurgical assessment of temporal summation of pain predicts the development of chronic postoperative pain 12 months after total knee replacement.

              Patients with knee osteoarthritis demonstrate decreased pressure pain thresholds (PPTs), facilitated temporal summation (TS) of pain, and decreased conditioned pain modulation (CPM) compared with healthy controls. This study aimed to correlate preoperative PPTs, TS, and CPM with the development of chronic postoperative pain after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. Knee pain intensity (visual analog scale [VAS]: 0-10), PPTs, TS, and CPM were collected before, 2 months, and 12 months after TKR. Patients were divided into a low-pain (VAS < 3) and a high-pain (VAS ≥ 3) group based on their VAS 12 months after TKR. The high-pain group (N = 17) had higher pain intensities compared with the low-pain group (N = 61) before surgery (P = 0.009) and 12 months after surgery (P < 0.001). The PPTs of the low-pain groups were normalized for all measurement sites comparing presurgery with 12 months postsurgery (P < 0.05, contralateral arm: P = 0.059), which was not the case for the high-pain group. The low-pain group showed a functional inhibitory CPM preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively (P < 0.05), which was not found in the high-pain group. The high-pain group had higher facilitated TS preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively compared with the low-pain group (P < 0.05). Preoperative TS level correlated to 12-month postoperative VAS (R = 0.240, P = 0.037). Patients who developed moderate-to-severe pain had pronociceptive changes compared with patients who developed mild pain postsurgery. Preoperative TS level correlated with the postoperative pain intensity and may be a preoperative mechanistic predictor for the development of chronic postoperative pain in patients with osteoarthritis after TKR.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                16 October 2018
                : 11
                : 2323-2330
                Center for Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Spinal Cord Injury, Heidelberg University Hospital, Schlierbacher Landstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, Ulrike.Dapunt@ 123456med.uni-heidelberg.de
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ulrike Dapunt, Center for Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Spinal Cord Injury Heidelberg University Hospital, Schlierbacher Landstrasse, 200a 69118 Heidelberg, Germany, Tel +49 6 221 563 5561, Fax +49 6 221 562 6230, Email Ulrike.Dapunt@ 123456med.uni-heidelberg.de
                © 2018 Dapunt et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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