Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) and atypical odontalgia (AO) are two conditions involving chronic oral pain in the absence of any organic cause. Psychiatrically they can both be considered as “somatoform disorder”. From the dental point of view, however, the two disorders are quite distinct. BMS is a burning or stinging sensation in the mouth in association with a normal mucosa whereas AO is most frequently associated with a continuous pain in the teeth or in a tooth socket after extraction in the absence of any identifiable cause. Because of the absence of organic causes, BMS and AO are often regarded as psychogenic conditions, although the relationship between oral pain and psychologic factors is still unclear. Some studies have analyzed the psychiatric diagnoses of patients with chronic oral pain who have been referred from dental facilities to psychiatric facilities. No study to date has investigated patients referred from psychiatric facilities to dental facilities.
To analyze the psychiatric diagnoses of chronic oral pain patients, diagnosed with BMS and AO, and referred from psychiatric facilities to dental facilities.
Psychiatric diagnoses and disease conditions of BMS or AO were investigated in 162 patients by reviewing patients’ medical records and referral forms. Psychiatric diagnoses were categorized according to the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision.
The proportion of F4 classification (neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders) in AO patients was significantly higher than in BMS patients. BMS patients were more frequently given a F3 classification (mood/affective disorders). However, 50.8% of BMS patients and 33.3% of AO patients had no specific psychiatric diagnoses.
Although BMS and AO are both chronic pain disorders occurring in the absence of any organic cause, the psychiatric diagnoses of patients with BMS and AO differ substantially.
glossodynia; stomatodynia; ICD-10; somatoform disorder
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is effective as an approach to understanding the psychological conflicts and the psychiatric symptoms of cancer patients as well as to planning useful psychological interventions. The author recommends that the psychotherapist who treats cancer patients be familiar with the following: 1) the natural course and treatment of the illness, 2) a flexible approach in accord with the medical status of the patient, 3) a common sense approach to defenses, 4) a concern with quality-of-life issues, and 5) counter- transference issues as they relate to the treatment of very sick patients. Case reports illustrate the unique problems facing psychotherapists who are treating cancer patients. Further, these cases show the effective use of psychodynamic principles to inform the therapist of successful psychotherapeutic interventions.
Atypical facial pain is an unrecognised and unhelpful diagnosis
but one which describes chronic pains that do not fit the present
classification system. Due to the site of the pain, patients may seek
and, indeed, receive treatment from dental practitioners and
specialists, but the pain is often unresponsive and may have more in
common with unexplained medical symptoms affecting other areas of the
body, than with other dental symptoms. This review suggests a need for
a diagnostic category of "chronic facial pain", which demands a
multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and management.
Pain usually is the major complaint of patients with problems of the back, thus making pain evaluation a fundamental requisite in the outcome assessment in spinal surgery. Pain intensity, pain-related disability, pain duration and pain affect are the aspects that define pain and its effects. For each of these aspects, different assessment instruments exist and are discussed in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Risk factors for the development of chronic pain have been a major topic in pain research in the past two decades. Now, it has been realised that psychological and psychosocial factors may substantially influence pain perception in patients with chronic pain and thus may influence the surgical outcome. With this background, pain acceptance, pain tolerance and pain-related anxiety as factors influencing coping strategies are discussed. Finally, a recommendation for a minimum as well as for a more comprehensive pain assessment is given.
Pain-assessment instruments; Spinal surgery; Coping strategies in pain patients; Pain perception; Pain experience
Pain persisting for at least 6 months is defined as chronic. Chronic facial pain conditions often take on lives of their own deleteriously changing the lives of the sufferer. Although much is known about facial pain, it is clear that those physicians who treat these conditions should continue elucidating the mechanisms and defining successful treatment strategies for these life-changing conditions. This article will review many of the classic causes of chronic facial pain due to the trigeminal nerve and its branches that are amenable to surgical therapies. Testing of facial sensibility is described and its utility introduced. We will also introduce some of the current hypotheses of atypical facial pain and headaches secondary to chronic nerve compressions and will suggest possible treatment strategies.
Facial pain; trauma; neuroma; trigeminal nerve
Due to the cross-sectional nature of previous studies, whether mechanical factors predict the onset of Chronic oro-facial pain remains unclear. Aims of the current study were to test the hypotheses that self-reported mechanical factors would predict onset of Chronic oro-facial pain and that any observed relationship would be independent of the confounding effects of psychosocial factors and reporting of other unexplained symptoms. About 1735 subjects who had completed a baseline questionnaire were assessed at 2 year follow-up for the presence of Chronic oro-facial pain, psychosocial factors (anxiety and depression, illness behaviour, life stressors and reporting of somatic symptoms), mechanical dysfunction (facial trauma, grinding, phantom bite and missing teeth) and reporting of other unexplained symptoms (chronic widespread pain, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue). About 1329 subjects returned completed questionnaires (adjusted response rate 87%). About 56 (5%) reported new episodes of Chronic oro-facial pain at follow-up. Univariate analyses showed that age, gender, reporting of other unexplained symptoms, psychosocial factors and two self-report mechanical factors predicted the onset of Chronic oro-facial pain. However multivariate analysis showed that mechanical factors did not independently predict onset. The strongest predictors were health anxiety (Relative Risk (RR) 2.8, 95% CI 1.3–6.2), chronic widespread pain (RR 4.0 95% C.I. 2.2–7.4) and age (RR 0.2, 95% CI 0.1–0.7). The findings from this prospective study support the hypothesis that psychosocial factors are markers for onset of Chronic oro-facial pain. The efficacy of early psychological management of Chronic oro-facial pain to address these factors should be a priority for future investigations.
Chronic oro-facial pain; Risk factors; General population; Psychological; Mechanical
Alexithymia is a disturbance in awareness and cognitive processing of affect that is associated with over-reporting of physical symptoms, including pain. The relationship between alexithymia and other psychological constructs that are often associated with pain has yet to be evaluated.
The present study examined the importance of alexithymia in the pain experience in relation to other integral psychological components of Turk’s diathesis-stress model of chronic pain and disability, including fear of pain, anxiety sensitivity, pain avoidance and pain catastrophizing.
Heat pain stimuli, using a magnitude estimation procedure, and five questionnaires (Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Fear of Pain Questionnaire III, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, avoidance subscale of the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20 and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20) were administered to 67 undergraduate students (44 women) with a mean (± SD) age of 20.39±3.77 years.
Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that sex, fear of pain and alexithymia were the only significant predictors of average heat pain intensity (F[6, 60]=5.43; R2=0.35; P=0.008), accounting for 6.8%, 20.0% and 9.6% of unique variance, respectively. Moreover, the difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings subscales, but not the externally oriented thinking subscale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 significantly predicted average heat pain intensity.
Individuals with higher levels of alexithymia or increased fear of pain reported higher average pain intensity ratings. The relationship between alexithymia and pain intensity was unrelated to other psychological constructs usually associated with pain. These findings suggest that difficulties with emotion regulation, either through reduced emotional awareness via alexithymia or heightened emotional awareness via fear of pain, may negatively impact the pain experience.
Alexithymia; Fear of pain; Heat pain stimulation; Pain intensity; Undergraduates
Pain remains a significant problem for patients hospitalized in intensive care units (ICUs). As research has shown, for some of these patients pain might even persist after discharge and become chronic. Exposure to intense pain and stress during medical and nursing procedures could be a risk factor that contributes to the transition from acute to chronic pain, which is a major disruption of the pain neurological system. New evidence suggests that physiological alterations contributing to chronic pain states take place both in the peripheral and central nervous systems. The purpose of this paper is to: 1) review cutting-edge theories regarding pain and mechanisms that underlie the transition from acute to chronic pain, such as increases in membrane excitability of peripheral and central nerve fibers, synaptic plasticity, and loss of the function of descending inhibitory pain fibers; 2) provide information on the association between the immune system and pain and its crucial contribution to development of chronic pain syndromes, and 3) discuss mechanisms at brain levels in the nervous system and their contribution to affective (i.e., emotional) states associated with chronic pain conditions. Finally, we will offer suggestions for ICU clinical interventions to attempt to prevent the transition from acute to chronic pain.
Pain; Acute; Chronic; Acute-to-chronic; Intensive care unit; Critical care; Nerve sensitization
Facial pain may be divided into several distinct categories, each requiring a specific treatment approach. In some cases, however, such categorization is difficult and treatment is ineffective. We reviewed our extensive clinical experience and designed an algorithmic approach to the treatment of medically intractable facial pain that can be treated through surgical intervention.
Our treatment algorithm is based on taking into account underlying pathological processes, the anatomical distribution of pain, pain characteristics, the patient's age and medical condition, associated medical problems, the history of previous surgical interventions, and, in some cases, the results of psychological evaluation. The treatment modalities involved in this algorithm include diagnostic blocks, peripheral denervation procedures, craniotomy for microvascular decompression of cranial nerves, percutaneous rhizotomies using radiofrequency ablation, glycerol injection, balloon compression, peripheral nerve stimulation procedures, stereotactic radiosurgery, percutaneous trigeminal tractotomy, and motor cortex stimulation. We recommend that some patients not receive surgery at all, but rather be referred for other medical or psychological treatment.
Our algorithmic approach was used in more than 100 consecutive patients with medically intractable facial pain. Clinical evaluations and diagnostic workups were followed in each case by the systematic choice of the appropriate intervention. The algorithm has proved easy to follow, and the recommendations include the identification of the optimal surgery for each patient with other options reserved for failures or recurrences. Our overall success rate in eliminating facial pain presently reaches 96%, which is higher than that observed in most clinical series reported to date
This treatment algorithm for the intractable facial pain appears to be effective for patients with a wide variety of painful conditions and may be recommended for use in other institutions.
This review explores the meaning and origins of aggression in early years. Eight pathways to aggression with origins in early childhood are suggested. These include: the contribution of individual factors; the effects of disturbed family dynamics; parental characteristics and parenting practices; the impact of exposure to violence and the influence of attachment relationships. Other influences such as: aggression relating to psychiatric/medical syndromes; the influence of neurodevelopment pathways and psychodynamic explanations, such as aggressive behavior in relation to mothers’ reflective capacity are also discussed.
While several routes to aggression have been proposed, no single factor is sufficient to explain the development of aggressive behavior. Longitudinal studies are sorely needed to observe aggressive behavior in children and to monitor their developmental trajectories.
infants and preschoolers; aggression; pathways; jeunes enfants; enfants d’âge préscolaire; agression; trajectoires
This article describes how psychodynamic assessment and treatment of traumatized patients can improve clinical acuity. The author describes an ego psychological, psychodynamic approach that involves 1) assessing the impact of trauma on the patient's ego defensive functioning and 2) elucidating the dynamic meaning of both the patient's presenting symptoms and the traumatic events that precipitated them. Clinical descriptions illustrate the ways in which psychodynamic psychotherapy may be particularly useful with patients whose acute symptoms develop following specific events. The author points out the advantages of an ego psychological, psychodynamic approach for her patients and the limitations of more symptom-based diagnostic assessments and treatments.
Neck-shoulder pain conditions, e.g., chronic trapezius myalgia, have been associated with sensory disturbances such as increased sensitivity to experimentally induced pain. This study investigated pain sensitivity in terms of bilateral pressure pain thresholds over the trapezius and tibialis anterior muscles and pain responses after a unilateral hypertonic saline infusion into the right legs tibialis anterior muscle and related those parameters to intensity and area size of the clinical pain and to psychological factors (sleeping problems, depression, anxiety, catastrophizing and fear-avoidance).
Nineteen women with chronic non-traumatic neck-shoulder pain but without simultaneous anatomically widespread clinical pain (NSP) and 30 age-matched pain-free female control subjects (CON) participated in the study.
NSP had lower pressure pain thresholds over the trapezius and over the tibialis anterior muscles and experienced hypertonic saline-evoked pain in the tibialis anterior muscle to be significantly more intense and locally more widespread than CON. More intense symptoms of anxiety and depression together with a higher disability level were associated with increased pain responses to experimental pain induction and a larger area size of the clinical neck-shoulder pain at its worst.
These results indicate that central mechanisms e.g., central sensitization and altered descending control, are involved in chronic neck-shoulder pain since sensory hypersensitivity was found in areas distant to the site of clinical pain. Psychological status was found to interact with the perception, intensity, duration and distribution of induced pain (hypertonic saline) together with the spreading of clinical pain. The duration and intensity of pain correlated negatively with pressure pain thresholds.
Quantitative sensory testing; trapezius myalgia; muscle; pain; hypersensitivity; centralization; pressure pain thresholds; pain drawing; pain intensity; questionnaire
Use of traditional stimulus-response models of pain leads to differentiation between organic and psychogenic pain, which is often not helpful, if not dangerous, in treating chronic pain. Pain does not simply reflect bodily damage but also complex psychological malfunctioning. Viewing chronic pain as an obsessional state may often help in treating the entire patient and prevent the physician from being obsessed with the patient's obsession. Psychological assessment of pain should focus on the role of psychological processes in the multifactorial causation of the illness causing the pain, notably their role in illness-proneness in general. Also, iatrogenic psychological distress, associatively precipitated psychological conflict and illness-perpetuating psychological processes should be looked for. A serious obstacle to progress with pain problems is not lack of hard data but conceptual confusion. Before medicine can meaningfully assess psychological factors in pain problems it must first learn to perceive psychological disturbances in medical and surgical patients.
Chronic pain in children and adolescents is associated with major disruption to developmental experiences crucial to personal adjustment, quality of life, academic, vocational and social success. Caring for these patients involves understanding cognitive, affective, social and family dynamic factors associated with persistent pain syndromes. Evaluation and treatment necessitate a comprehensive multimodal approach including psychological and behavioral interventions that maximize return to more developmentally appropriate physical, academic and social activities. This article will provide an overview of major psychosocial factors impacting on pediatric pain and disability, propose an explanatory model for conceptualizing the development and maintenance of pain and functional disability in medically difficult-to-explain pain syndromes, and review representative evidence-based cognitive behavioral and systemic treatment approaches for improving functioning in this pediatric population.
Chronic pain; Children; Adolescents; Psychosocial; Cognitive behavioral therapy
Little is known about the procedures used by German dental and maxillofacial surgeons treating patients suffering from chronic orofacial pain (COP). This study aimed to evaluate the ambulatory management of COP.
Using a standardized questionnaire we collected data of dental and maxillofacial surgeons treating patients with COP. Therapists described variables as patients' demographics, chronic pain disorders and their aetiologies, own diagnostic and treatment principles during a period of 3 months.
Although only 13.5% of the 520 addressed therapists returned completely evaluable questionnaires, 985 patients with COP could be identified. An orofacial pain syndrome named atypical odontalgia (17.0 %) was frequent. Although those patients revealed signs of chronification, pain therapists were rarely involved (12.5%). For assessing pain the use of Analogue Scales (7%) or interventional diagnostics (4.6%) was uncommon. Despite the fact that surgical procedures are cofactors of COP therapists preferred further surgery (41.9%) and neglected the prescription of analgesics (15.7%). However, most therapists self-evaluated the efficacy of their pain management as good (69.7 %).
Often ambulatory dental and maxillofacial surgeons do not follow guidelines for COP management despite a high prevalence of severe orofacial pain syndromes.
Abdominal pain is a common symptom in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and has a profound negative impact on patients’ lives. There are growing data suggesting that pain is variably related to the degree of active inflammation. Given the multifactorial etiologies underlying the pain, the treatment of abdominal pain in the IBD population is best accomplished by individualized plans. This review covers four clinically relevant categories of abdominal pain in patients with IBD, namely, inflammation, surgical complications, bacterial overgrowth, and neurobiological processes and how pain management can be addressed in each of these cases. The role of genetic factors, psychological factors, and psychosocial stress in pain perception and treatment will also be addressed. Lastly, psychosocial, pharmacological, and procedural pain management techniques will be discussed. An extensive review of the existing literature reveals a paucity of data regarding pain management specific to IBD. In addition, there is growing consensus suggesting a spectrum between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Thus, this review for adult and pediatric clinicians also incorporates the literature for the treatment of functional abdominal pain and the clinical consensus from IBD and IBS experts on pharmacological, behavioral, and procedural methods to treat abdominal pain in this population.
abdominal pain; inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Crohn’s Disease; ulcerative colitis; visceral hypersensitivity; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth; narcotic bowel syndrome
The localised PET cerebral correlates of the painful experience in the normal human brain have previously been demonstrated. This study examined whether these responses are different in patients with chronic atypical facial pain. The regional cerebral responses to non-painful and painful thermal stimuli in six female patients with atypical facial pain and six matched female controls were studied by taking serial measurements of regional blood flow by PET. Both groups displayed highly significant differences in responses to painful heat compared with non-painful heat in the thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex (area 24), lentiform nucleus, insula, and prefrontal cortex. These structures are closely related to the "medial pain system". The atypical facial pain group had increased blood flow in the anterior cingulate cortex and decreased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex. These findings show the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex and the reciprocal (possibly inhibitory) connections with the prefrontal cortex in the processing of pain in patients with this disorder. A hypothesis is proposed to explain the mechanisms of cognitive and pharmacological manipulation of these pain processes.
Piercings (body art, i.e., with jewelry) are more and more widespread. They can induce various complications such as infections, allergies, headaches, and various skin, cartilage, or dental problems, and represent a public health problem. We draw attention to possible side effects resulting from face piercing complications observed on four young adults such as eye misalignment, decreased postural control efficiency, and non-specific chronic back pain with associated comorbidity. We found that the origin was pierced jewelry on the face. Removing the jewelry restored eye alignment, improved postural control, and alleviated back pain in a lasting way. We suggest that pierced facial jewelry can disturb somaesthetic signals driven by the trigeminal nerve, and thus interfere with central integration processes, notably in the cerebellum and the vestibular nucleus involved in postural control and eye alignment. Facial piercings could induce sensory–motor conflict, exacerbate, or precipitate a pre-existing undetermined conflict, which leads pain and complaints. These findings are significant for health; further investigations would be of interest.
piercing; back pain; trigeminal path; vertical heterophoria; postural instability
Facial pain syndromes can be very heterogeneous and need individual diagnosis and treatment. This report describes an interesting case of facial pain associated with eczema and an isolated dyskinesia of the lower facial muscles following dental surgery. Different aspects of the pain, spasms and the eczema will be discussed.
In this patient, persistent intense pain arose in the lower part of her face following a dental operation. The patient also exhibited dyskinesia of her caudal mimic musculature that was triggered by specific movements. Several attempts at therapy had been unsuccessful. We performed local injections of botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) into the affected region of the patient's face. Pain relief was immediate following each set of botulinum toxin injections. The follow up time amounts 62 weeks.
Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) can be a safe and effective therapy for certain forms of facial pain syndromes.
Anxiety disorders are thought to be one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in children/adolescents. Chronic medical illness is a significant risk factor for the development of an anxiety disorder and the prevalence rate of anxiety disorders among youths with chronic medical illnesses is higher compared to their healthy counterparts. Anxiety disorders may develop secondary to predisposing biological mechanisms related to a child’s specific medical illness, as a response to being ill or in the hospital, a threatening environment, as a result of other genetic and psychological factors, or as a combination of all these factors. Additionally, exposure to physical pain early in one’s life and or frequent painful medical procedures are correlated with fear and anxiety during subsequent procedures and treatments and may lead to medical nonadherence and other comorbidities. Anxiety disorders can have serious consequences in children/adolescents with chronic and or life limiting medical illnesses. Therefore, proper identification and treatment of anxiety disorders is necessary and may improve not only psychiatric symptoms but also physical symptoms. Behavioral and cognitive methods as well as psychotropic medications are used to treat anxiety disorders in pediatric patients. We will review current treatments for anxiety in children/adolescents with medical illnesses and propose future research directions.
Chronic Illness; Pain; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Psychopharmacology; Cognitive; Behavior Therapy
Sneddon’s syndrome is a rare vascular disease affecting mainly skin and brain arterioles leading to their occlusion due to excessive endothelial proliferation. The two main features of this syndrome are livedo reticularis and lacunar subcortical infarcts. Here, we describe the case of a 64-year-old woman presenting with a 4-year history of a throbbing, bilateral, parieto-occipital headache associated with facial pain, but without any other accompanying symptom. The pain, initially misdiagnosed as atypical trigeminal neuralgia, worsened up to chronic daily and such severely disabling headache that she was constrained to bed. She presented with reduced cognitive functions, diffuse and severe livedo reticularis, severe myalgias and mild stiffness. All diagnostic test for different diseases were performed and other diseases excluded except for Sneddon’s syndrome. Her symptoms were reduced firstly using acetylsalicylic acid, then ticlopidine 250 mg bid was begun and then Pentoxyphillin, resulting in a significant improvement of symptoms with the disappearance of headache. Her worsening in the first year was characterized by obsessive-compulsive behaviours, body-image misperceptions and panic attacks, improved for a period using olanzapine. Considering this case, we remark the importance of using headache classification to avoid diagnostic errors, secondly, we describe an atypical manifestation of Sneddon’s syndrome and therapeutic efficacy of using ticlopidine and pentoxyphillin.
Most people with a spinal cord injury rate neuropathic pain as one of the most difficult problems to manage and there are no medical treatments that provide satisfactory pain relief in most people. Furthermore, psychosocial factors have been considered in the maintenance and aggravation of neuropathic spinal cord injury pain. Psychological interventions to support people with spinal cord injury to deal with neuropathic pain, however, are sparse. The primary aim of the CONECSI (COping with NEuropathiC Spinal cord Injury pain) trial is to evaluate the effects of a multidisciplinary cognitive behavioural treatment programme on pain intensity and pain-related disability, and secondary on mood, participation in activities, and life satisfaction.
CONECSI is a multicentre randomised controlled trial. A sample of 60 persons with chronic neuropathic spinal cord injury pain will be recruited from four rehabilitation centres and randomised to an intervention group or a waiting list control group. The control group will be invited for the programme six months after the intervention group. Main inclusion criteria are: having chronic (> 6 months) neuropathic spinal cord injury pain as the worst pain complaint and rating the pain intensity in the last week as 40 or more on a 0-100 scale. The intervention consists of educational, cognitive, and behavioural elements and encompasses 11 sessions over a 3-month period. Each meeting will be supervised by a local psychologist and physical therapist. Measurements will be perfomed before starting the programme/entering the control group, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Primary outcomes are pain intensity and pain-related disability (Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire). Secondary outcomes are mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), participation in activities (Utrecht Activities List), and life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction Questionnaire). Pain coping and pain cognitions will be assessed with three questionnaires (Coping Strategy Questionnaire, Pain Coping Inventory, and Pain Cognition List).
The CONECSI trial will reveal the effects of a multidisciplinary cognitive behavioural programme for people with chronic neuropathic spinal cord injury pain. This intervention is expected to contribute to the rehabilitation treatment possibilities for this population.
Dutch Trial Register NTR1580.
Two hundred patients with chronic intractable pain have been evaluated in order to study the clinical characteristics of pain and associated psychiatric illnesses. The commonest site of pain was reported to be head and face, usually dull in nature. Almost 75% of patients reported continuous pain. A great majority (40%–80%) had some psycho-social problem or other problem resultant from the chronic pain. 72% patients had identifiable psychiatric illness, commonest being neurotic depression and anxiety states. The common symptoms reported on the Present State Examination (PSE) were worrying (77%), depression (40%), hypochondrical pre-occupation (35%), autonomic anxiety (42%) and irritability (40%). There is no specific clinical characteristic associated with any particular psychiatric diagnosis. The relevance of psychiatric symptoms and illness associated with chronic pain has been discussed.
To assess the role of biopsychosocial factors in patients with type 1 myotonic and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (MMD1/FSHD) with chronic pain. Associations between psychosocial factors were found to be important in other samples of persons with pain and both psychological functioning and pain interference in a sample of patients suffering from MMD/FSHD. Prospective, multiple group, survey study of 182 patients with confirmed MMD1 and FSHD. Participants completed surveys assessing pain interference and psychological functioning, as well as psychosocial, demographic, and injury-related variables. Analyses indicated that greater catastrophizing was associated with increased pain interference and poorer psychological functioning, pain attitudes were significantly related to both pain interference and psychological functioning, and coping responses were significantly related only to pain interference. In addition, greater perceived social support was associated with better psychological functioning. The results support the use of studying pain in persons with MMD/FSHD from a biopsychosocial perspective, and the importance of identifying psychosocial factors that may play a role in the adjustment to and response to pain secondary to MMD/FSHD.
myotonic muscular dystrophy; facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy; chronic pain; biopsychosocial model
One of the most commonly neglected findings in the human pain literature is the observation of sex differences in the mechanisms that support the phenotypic expression of pain. The present commentary describes an assessment of the prevalence of observed sex differences in various pain processes, and of how expert pain researchers interpret the epidemiology and, hence, the proximate and ultimate causes of such differences. Forty-two pain investigators completed an anonymous survey on the epidemiology of sex differences in the human pain experience. Investigator responses indicated that sex differences are pervasive across various areas of pain research, that sex differences are particularly pronounced in the area of situational influences on pain behaviors, and that contemporary pain researchers largely disagree on the epidemiology of, and hence, proximate and ultimate causes of the differences. The relevance of social situational factors on sex differences in pain behaviours is discussed in the context of evolutionary, developmental, social psychology and pain sensory systems that may function, in part, for regulating interpersonal intimacy.
Epidemiology; Evolutionary psychology; Pain behaviours; Sex differences