Methods to measure peripheral and central sensitization using quantitative sensory testing: A focus on individuals with low back pain

Angela R. Starkweather, Amy Heineman, Shannon Storey, Gil Rubia, Debra E. Lyon, Joel Daniel Greenspan, Susan G. Dorsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Quantitative sensory testing can be used to assess peripheral and central sensitization; important factors that contribute to the individual's experience of pain and disability. Many studies use quantitative sensory testing in patients with low back pain to detect alterations in pain sensitivity, however, because investigators employ different protocols, interpretation of findings across studies can become problematic. The purpose of this article is to propose a standardized method of testing peripheral and central pain sensitization in patients with low back pain. Video clips are provided to demonstrate correct procedures for measuring the response to experimental pain using mechanical, thermal and pressure modalities. As nurse researchers and clinicians increase utilization of quantitative sensory testing to examine pain phenotypes, it is anticipated that more personalized methods for monitoring the trajectory of low back pain and response to treatment will improve outcomes for this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Central sensitization
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain sensitization
  • Peripheral sensitization
  • Quantitative sensory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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