I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 13



The influence of pain and kinesiophobia on motor control of the upper limb: how pointing task paradigms can point to new avenues of understanding.


Duport A, Morel P, Léonard G, Devanne H


People experiencing kinesiophobia are more likely to develop persistent disabilities and chronic pain. However, the impact of kinesiophobia on the motor system remains poorly understood. We investigated whether kinesiophobia could modulate shoulder pain-induced changes in (1) kinematic parameters and muscle activation during functional movement and (2) corticospinal excitability. Thirty healthy, pain-free subjects took part in the study. Shoulder, elbow, and finger kinematics, as well as electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius and anterior deltoid muscles, were recorded while subjects performed a pointing task before and during pain induced by capsaicin at the shoulder. Anterior deltoid cortical changes in excitability were assessed through the slope of transcranial magnetic stimulation input-output curves obtained before and during pain. Results revealed that pain reduced shoulder electromyographic activity and had a variable effect on finger kinematics, with individuals with higher kinesiophobia showing greater reduction in finger target traveled distance. Kinesiophobia scores were also correlated with the changes in deltoid corticospinal excitability, suggesting that the latter can influence motor activity as soon as the motor signal emerges. Taken together, these results suggest that pain and kinesiophobia interact with motor control adaptation.