I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jul 2021 - 30 Jul 2021

Human Studies

2021 Jul 26

Eur J Pain

Conditioned pain modulation and pain sensitivity in functional somatic disorders: The DanFunD study.


Petersen MW, Skovbjerg S, Jensen JS, Carstensen T, Dantoft TM, Fink P, Benros ME, Mortensen EL, Jørgensen T, Gormsen LK
Eur J Pain. 2021 Jul 26.
PMID: 34309927.


Disrupted pain regulation has been proposed as a component in functional somatic disorders (FSD). The objective of this study was to examine a general population sample, encompassing three delimitations of FSD while assessing pain sensitivity and conditioning pain modulation (CPM). Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) at the tibialis and trapezius muscles were recorded at baseline. During cold pressor stimulation of the hand, the tibialis PPTs were re-assessed and the difference from baseline measures defined the CPM effect. Participants (n=2,198, 53% females) were randomly selected from the adult Danish population. FSD was established by self-reported symptom questionnaires. With a few exceptions, only weak associations were seen between PPTs and CPM in cases with FSD (p>0.1). A high PPT was associated with lower odds of having multi-organ bodily distress syndrome (OR : 0.66, 95% CI: 0.49-0.88, p=0.005), with the symptom profile characterized by all symptoms (OR : 0.72, 95% CI: 0.58-0.90, p=0.003 and OR : 0.75, 95% CI: 0.62-0.91, p=0.004), and with multiple chemical sensitivity (OR : 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67-0.97, p=0.022). High CPM was associated with high odds of having irritable bowel (OR : 1.22, 95% CI: 1.04-1.43, p=0.013 and OR =2.66, 95% CI: 1.07-6.45, p=0.033). However, only PPT measured over the trapezius muscle were still significant after correction for multiple testing for the symptom profile characterized by all symptoms. Findings from this study do not support altered pain regulation in questionnaire-based FSD which is in contrast with the existing presumption. Further epidemiological studies in this field are needed.