Eur J Pain. 2023 Sep 15. doi: 10.1002/ejp.2183. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is the hallmark symptom of joint diseases. This study examined the differences in quantitative sensory testing between patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), hand osteoarthritis (hand-OA) and a pain-free control group and differences between patients with and without concomitant fibromyalgia (cFM).
METHODS: All patients and pain-free controls were assessed using pressure pain thresholds (PPT), temporal summation of pain (TSP), conditioned pain modulation (CPM) and clinical pain intensities. Psychological distress was assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Disability was assessed with the Health Assessment Questionnaire and pain quality with the painDETECT questionnaire. cFM was identified using the revised 2016 American College of Rheumatology diagnostic criteria.
RESULTS: Patients with hand-OA (n = 75) or PsA (n = 58) had statistically significant lower PPTs and CPM, greater TSP, and higher scores of psychological distress (p < 0.05) than controls (n = 20). Patients with cFM (58%) had higher scores of depression (p = 0.001), anxiety (p = 0.004), catastrophizing (p = 0.012), disability (p < 0.001), higher painDETECT score (p = 0.001), TSP (p = 0.027), and reduced sleep quality (p = 0.021) when compared to patients without cFM.
CONCLUSION: Patients with hand-OA and PsA exhibited signs of pain sensitization and a higher degree of psychological distress and disability than pain-free individuals. Patients with cFM had greater TSP, painDETECT score, disability, catastrophizing, and reduced sleep quality, than patients without, indicating greater degree of pain sensitization, psychological burden, and disability.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: This paper shows that a significant proportion of patients with hand osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis with moderate pain intensity have significantly increased signs of pain sensitization and markers of psychological distress. A large proportion of these patients fulfil the criteria for concomitant fibromyalgia and these patients show even greater propensity towards pain sensitization and psychological distress.