An experimental approach to examining psychological contributions to multisite musculoskeletal pain

Nils Georg Niederstrasser, P Maxwell Slepian, Tsipora Mankovsky-Arnold, Christian Larivière, Johan W Vlaeyen, Michael J L Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

UNLABELLED: The present study examined the prospective value of pain catastrophizing, fear of pain, and depression in the prediction of multisite musculoskeletal pain following experimentally induced delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The study sample consisted of 119 (63 females, 56 males) healthy university students. Measures of pain catastrophizing, fear of pain, and depression were completed prior to the DOMS induction procedure. Analyses revealed that pain catastrophizing and fear of pain prospectively predicted the experience of multisite pain following DOMS induction. Analyses also revealed that women were more likely to experience multisite pain than men. There was no significant relation between depressive symptoms and the experience of multisite pain. The discussion addresses the mechanisms by which pain catastrophizing and fear of pain might contribute to the spreading of pain. Clinical implications of the findings are also addressed.

PERSPECTIVE: The results of this experimental study suggest that pain catastrophizing and fear of pain might increase the risk of developing multisite pain following musculoskeletal injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1165
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catastrophization
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Young Adult

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