Conditioned pain modulation in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) pain patients

Oono, Yuka; Wang, Kelun; Baad-Hansen, Lene; Futarmal, Simple; Kohase, Hikaru; Svensson, Peter; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars
October 2014
Experimental Brain Research;Oct2014, Vol. 232 Issue 10, p3111
Academic Journal
The aims were to investigate (1) if temporomandibular disorders (TMD) patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain had different conditioned pain modulation (CPM) compared with healthy subjects and, (2) if clinical pain characteristics influenced CPM. Sixteen TMD pain patients and 16 age-matched healthy subjects were participated. A mechanical conditioning stimulus (CS) was applied to pericranial muscles provoking a pain intensity of 5/10 on a visual analogue scale. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and pressure pain tolerance thresholds (PPTol) were assessed at masseter, forearm and painful TMJ (only PPT) before, during, and 20 min after CS. Data were analyzed with ANOVAs. The correlations between CPM effect and ratings of TMD pain intensity on a numerical rating scale (NRS) or the pain duration were calculated (correlation coefficient; R). The relative PPT and PPTol increases (mean for the three assessment sites) during CS were significantly higher than baseline in healthy subjects (43.0 ± 3.6, 33.0 ± 4.0 %; P < 0.001, P < 0.001) but not in the TMD pain patients (4.9 ± 2.7, −1.4 ± 4.1 %; P = 0.492, P = 1.000) with significant differences between groups ( P < 0.001). In the patients, the relative PPT changes during CS were not significantly higher than baseline at TMJ (5.3 ± 3.8 %, P = 0.981) and masseter (−2.8 ± 4.8 %, P = 1.000) but significantly higher at forearm (12.3 ± 4.7 %, P = 0.039). No correlation was detected between TMD pain intensity and CPM effect ( R = −0.261; P = 0.337) or between pain duration and CPM effect ( R = −0.423; P = 0.103) at painful TMJ. These findings indicate that CPM is impaired in TMD pain patients especially at sites with chronic pain but not at pain-free sites and that the clinical pain characteristics do not influence CPM.


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