Pain Recollection in FM Patients Changes over Time, Study Suggests

Pain Recollection in FM Patients Changes over Time, Study Suggests
Research suggests a bias in how people with fibromyalgia (FM) recall pain, with intense pain usually exaggerated in recall. Researchers suggest that psychosocial factors, such as patients’ own assessment of their physical abilities, may affect FM patients' pain recollection. The study, “A longitudinal analysis of pain experience and recall in fibromyalgia,” was published in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Pain in FM is usually measured via self-reports; however, this has been shown to lead to disparate results, likely linked to the fact that how people experience pain is often different than their memory of that painful episode. Increasing research suggests that memories of painful experiences are “more powerful predictors of future pain than the actual previous pain experiences,” researchers said. “These findings engender questions of what pain recollections truly reflect, how pain recollection differs by populations, what factors moderate pain recollection accuracy and how they operate similarly across differing populations,” they stated. Evidence shows that pain recall is affected by psychological, social, and biological factors — depression was shown to negatively affect pain recollection and one study showed that glucocorticoid cortisol, a hormone released during a stress response, also changed how a group of healthy males experienced pain during a controlled experiment. While research into factors that affect pain recollection has been done in some populations of patients with an identifiable cause for their pain, “no research has been done to assess
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