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Pain tolerance in upper limb disorders: findings from a community survey

Pain tolerance in upper limb disorders: findings from a community survey
Pain tolerance in upper limb disorders: findings from a community survey
Aims: To test the hypothesis that non-specific upper limb pain arises from altered pain perception with reduced tolerance of sensory stimuli.

Methods: Subjects undergoing clinical examination as part of a community based survey of upper limb disorders were invited to return for an assessment of pain tolerance. A standardised algorithm was used to classify the 94 participants according to whether they had specific upper limb disorders (n = 22), non-specific arm pain (n = 15), or no arm pain (n = 57). Pain tolerance was assessed at three
anatomical sites in each arm in response to electrocutaneous stimulation with alternating currents up to a maximum of 10 mA at three frequencies (5, 250, and 2000 Hz). A proportional odds model was used to compare pain tolerance thresholds according to sex, age, and diagnosis.

Results: Women were less tolerant of pain than men (OR 0.13) and tolerance also declined with age (OR for one year increase in age 0.97). After allowance for sex and age, there was no indication that
pain tolerance was lower in subjects with non-specific arm pain than in those with specific upper limb disorders or those who had no arm pain.

Conclusions: The study hypothesis was not supported. However, before the hypothesis is dismissed, it should be tested further in patients with more severe and disabling arm pain.
diagnosis, sex factors, research support, electric stimulation, hyperalgesia, epidemiology, aged, patients, methods, perception, adult, forearm, arm, sensory thresholds, hypothesis, fingers, sex, shoulder pain, male, non-U.S.gov't, humans, female, pain, algorithms, middle aged, environmental, age factors
1351-0711
217-221
Mitchell, S.
9f565ade-1a8d-4148-91c9-469cb31f8a2d
Reading, I.
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Walker-Bone, K.
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Palmer, K.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Cooper, C.
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Mitchell, S.
9f565ade-1a8d-4148-91c9-469cb31f8a2d
Reading, I.
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Walker-Bone, K.
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Palmer, K.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Cooper, C.
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Mitchell, S., Reading, I., Walker-Bone, K., Palmer, K., Cooper, C. and Coggon, D. (2003) Pain tolerance in upper limb disorders: findings from a community survey. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 60 (3), 217-221. (doi:10.1136/oem.60.3.217).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: To test the hypothesis that non-specific upper limb pain arises from altered pain perception with reduced tolerance of sensory stimuli.

Methods: Subjects undergoing clinical examination as part of a community based survey of upper limb disorders were invited to return for an assessment of pain tolerance. A standardised algorithm was used to classify the 94 participants according to whether they had specific upper limb disorders (n = 22), non-specific arm pain (n = 15), or no arm pain (n = 57). Pain tolerance was assessed at three
anatomical sites in each arm in response to electrocutaneous stimulation with alternating currents up to a maximum of 10 mA at three frequencies (5, 250, and 2000 Hz). A proportional odds model was used to compare pain tolerance thresholds according to sex, age, and diagnosis.

Results: Women were less tolerant of pain than men (OR 0.13) and tolerance also declined with age (OR for one year increase in age 0.97). After allowance for sex and age, there was no indication that
pain tolerance was lower in subjects with non-specific arm pain than in those with specific upper limb disorders or those who had no arm pain.

Conclusions: The study hypothesis was not supported. However, before the hypothesis is dismissed, it should be tested further in patients with more severe and disabling arm pain.

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More information

Published date: 2003
Keywords: diagnosis, sex factors, research support, electric stimulation, hyperalgesia, epidemiology, aged, patients, methods, perception, adult, forearm, arm, sensory thresholds, hypothesis, fingers, sex, shoulder pain, male, non-U.S.gov't, humans, female, pain, algorithms, middle aged, environmental, age factors

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24423
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24423
ISSN: 1351-0711
PURE UUID: aed4b461-d69a-4678-85d2-552956657fd4
ORCID for I. Reading: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1457-6532
ORCID for K. Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2006
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:02

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Contributors

Author: S. Mitchell
Author: I. Reading ORCID iD
Author: K. Walker-Bone ORCID iD
Author: K. Palmer
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD

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