Comparing somatosensory and gene expression in acute LBP
The majority of patients experiencing acute pain recover, however more than 40% continues to have pain lasting for a period of 3 months or longer. Many factors have been shown to influence long-term pain episodes; however, interventions with the intention of reducing psychosocial and environmental risks factors are often only marginally successful in decreasing the incidence of long-term pain and disability. Now selective pain sensitivity and differential gene expression profiles have also been demonstrated in patients with acute low back pain.
31 no-pain control participants and 31 participants with acute low back pain were included in the study and underwent venipuncture for collection of blood samples and quantitative sensory testing (QST). Acute LBP participants had increased pain sensitivity to cold stimuli, mechanical stimuli, including mechanical temporal summation at both locally and a remote location, thereby suggesting a mechanism of enhanced central nervous system excitability. Pressure pain varied between the two groups suggesting deep tissue specific peripheral sensitisation. Differential gene expression were significantly associated with somatosensory alterations identified in the acute low back pain group.
Acute LBP participants showed amplified selective pain sensitivity and differential gene expression profiles compared to a pain-free control group. This warrants further research into this area of pain research, and may be an issue in the development of chronic pain.
> From: Starkweather et al., Clin J Pain (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.