A new method based on thumbnail pressure has been developed to monitor conditioned pain modulation (CPM). Patients, such as those with fibromyalgia (FM) who require long-term and frequent assessment of pain responses, should welcome the new, simpler test. CPM is a model where a conditioning stimulus is used to influence a test stimulus in the context of pain responses. In healthy people, the application of a painful stimulus to one part of the body often reduces pain experienced in another part of the body. For patients with FM, or those with other chronic pain disorders, this process is often impaired. Inefficient CPM also is associated with increased use of pain management strategies, such as analgesic use. In the study "A novel paradigm to evaluate conditioned pain modulation in fibromyalgia," published in the Journal of Pain Research, researchers developed a new method to evaluate CPM that "can be performed longitudinally in nearly any setting with minimal participant burden." A standard test for CPM involves the application of two painful stimulus including pinching, pressure, or exposure to hot or cold temperatures. The new paradigm for CPM uses pressure applied to the dominant thumbnail (conditioning) for 60 seconds. Then pressure is applied to the non-dominant (test) thumbnail and pain is rated on a scale of 0-100, with 100 describing the most severe pain. This is the first model where the same stimulus is used in both conditioning and testing settings. The researchers enrolled 16 right-handed female FM patients between the ages of 24 and 57. To be eligible, these women had a clinical pain score of greater than 40 on a 100-point scale (0=no pain, 100=worst pain). As a control group, 14 age-matched healthy females also were enrolled.