Generalized sensitization and impairment of the descending pain modulation were not associated with computer users who had low levels of chronic musculoskeletal pain, according to study results.
Researchers assessed pressure pain threshold (PPT) mapping in the neck-shoulder and the elbow, as well as at the mid-point of the tibialis anterior muscle, in 47 computer users with chronic pain in the upper extremity and/or neck-shoulder pain and in 17 pain-free computer users.
Using a 0- to 10-cm electronic VAS, the researchers recorded induced pain intensities and profiles over time. Cuff-induced pain was used as conditioning pain stimulus to assess the efficacy of conditioned pain modulation (CPM), whereas PPT at the tibialis anterior was used as the test stimulus.
The two groups had similar demographics, job seniority and number of working hours per week using a computer. According to the researchers, no significant differences were observed in the PPTs measured at all 15 points in the neck-shoulder region between groups, nor were any significant differences observed in PPTs or pain intensity induced by dynamic pressure algometry.
No significant difference in PPT was observed in the tibialis anterior between the two groups, according to the researchers. Although a significant increase in PPT at the tibialis anterior was observed in both groups during CPM, the increase was not significantly different between the groups.
Less-efficient descending pain modulation was correlated with higher clinical pain intensity, lower PPT values from the neck-shoulder and higher pain intensity evoked by the roller in the chronic pain group, according to the researchers. – by Casey Tingle
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.