Short-term improvements in the body schema can modulate pain perception in fibromyalgia syndrome
E. Martínez1, I. Buesa2, V. Guillén3, J.J. Azkue4
- Computational Neuroimaging Lab, Biocruces-Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Barakaldo, Bizkaia, Spain, and Università di Bari, Italy.
- Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine and Nursing, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine and Nursing, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain.
- Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine and Nursing University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Bizkaia, Spain.
2022 Vol.40, N°6
PI 1127, PF 1135
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PMID: 35349412 [PubMed]
Accepted : 31/01/2022
In Press: 17/03/2022
This study aimed to evaluate the pain perception and several aspects of disrupted body schema, in a sample of patients suffering from fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome.
Twenty-six patients were organised into two groups: the tactile discrimination group and control group (exposed to tactile stimulation alone). Outcome measures were the pain intensity in body regions commonly described as painful (visual analogue scale) and clinical status, body esteem scale (BES), interoceptive awareness. Tactile acuity was measured by the two-point discrimination test (TPD), hits in the location of the stimulus, the probe size discrimination and the graphesthesia task.
The group exposed to tactile discrimination experienced a significant improvement in all tactile acuity outcome measures. The decrease of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire variable was relevant (81.58, SEM 3.29 vs. 72.91, SEM 6.43; p=0.07). Likewise, pain perception was lower in all of the body regions evaluated (reduction of 12.2% in the stimulated body region (cervical VAS) with a large effect size, a pain reduction of 11.3% in the wrists and 9.2% in the knees. The correlation index showed association between the cervical VAS and TPD (ρ=0.53; p<0.05).
There was no improvement in pain scores in the control group but the TPD was decreased also. The BES scores did not show differences between groups. However, interoceptive awareness showed a slight reduction in the group exposed to tactile discrimination (3.68, SEM 0.15 vs. 3.35, SEM 0.19; p=0.01). After short-term tactile discrimination protocol, the group exposed to tactile discrimination experienced a significant improvement in all tactile acuity outcome measures: pain perception, tactile acuity and body perception, compatible with adjustments in the body schema. The tactile stimulation alone group did not show the same improvement.