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Papers: 23 Apr 2022 - 29 Apr 2022

2022 Apr 27

Scand J Pain

Evidence of distorted proprioception and postural control in studies of experimentally induced pain: a critical review of the literature.


Efstathiou MA, Giannaki CD, Roupa Z, Hadjisavvas S, Stefanakis M
Scand J Pain. 2022 Apr 27.
PMID: 35470647.


Deficits in proprioception and postural control are common in patients with different musculoskeletal pain syndromes. It has been proposed that pain can negatively affect proprioception and postural control at a peripheral level, however research is limited to animal studies. Human studies have shown that it is more likely, that the link between pain and proprioceptive deficits, lies within changes in the central nervous system where noxious and non-noxious stimuli may overlap. In clinical studies, causality cannot be determined due to other factors which could confound the assessment such as pathophysiological features of the underlying musculoskeletal disorder and different psycho-social influences especially in patients with chronic pain. On the other hand, experimentally induced pain in healthy participants is able to control most of these confounding factors and perhaps offers an assessment of the effects of pain on proprioception and postural control. The aim of this paper is to critically appraise the literature related to the effect of experimentally induced pain on proprioception and postural control. Results from these studies are discussed and limitations are highlighted for future research.