I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Mar 2022 - 18 Mar 2022

Human Studies

2022 Mar 11

J Rehabil Med

Pain tolerance in patients chronic pain is more strongly associated with physical activity than with anxiety and depression.


Skogberg O, Karlsson L, Börsbo B, Arendt-Nielsen L, Graven-Nielsen T, Gerdle B, Bäckryd E, Lemming D
J Rehabil Med. 2022 Mar 11.
PMID: 35274145.


To explore the associations between habitual self-reported physical activity, pain sensitivity and patient-reported outcomes (including pain intensity) in patients with chronic pain.  Design: Cross-sectional, experimental study.  Subjects: Patients (n = 78), age range 18-65 years, with different chronic pain conditions (> 3 months) were compared with age- and gender-matched healthy controls (n = 98).  Methods: Multivariate correlations between self-reported physical activity, pressure pain thresholds, and patient-reported outcome measures were assessed.  Results: Lower perceived health status (p < 0.001, Cohen's d = 2.34), higher levels of depression (p < 0.001, Cohen's d = 1.77), and lower pressure pain tolerance threshold (p < 0.001, Cohen's d = 1.66) were the most prominent variables discriminating patients from controls. In patients, bivariate and multivariate analyses showed that higher pressure pain tolerance was associated with male gender, lower pain intensity and fewer painful regions, higher self-efficacy and more self-reported physical activity, but not with lower levels of anxiety and depression.  Conclusion: Pressure pain tolerance thresholds, as well as degree of depression and perceived health status discriminated between patients and controls, and there was an association between pain tolerance and level of self-reported physical activity in patients. This study highlights the importance of further research into how increased physical activity may improve pain sensitivity in patients with chronic pain.