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An Experimental Approach to Examining Psychological Contributions to Multisite Musculoskeletal Pain

Published:August 29, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2014.08.007

      Highlights

      • Pain catastrophizing, and fear of pain prospectively predict the experience of multisite pain following delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) induction.
      • Women are more likely to experience multisite pain than men following DOMS.
      • Pain catastrophizing and fear of pain might increase the risk of developing multisite pain following injury.

      Abstract

      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.

      Key words

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