Chronic wide-spread pain and fibromyalgia
Chronic pain is very common in all European countries with a predominance of musculoskeletal problems. Wide-spread pain with muscle soreness, Fibromyalgia (FM), has a prevalence of about 1% in the adult populations, mostly females affected. Characteristically, multiple tender points are present and the patient has back or neck pain, and a number of associated problems including a high frequency of fatigue. FM patients often have a history of hypermobility and long-lasting regional pain, which at some time becomes generalized. While the pain may originally have been initiated in the peripheral tissue, a malfunctioning central nervous system must be involved in the process of chronification. Both afferent and efferent dysfunctions are suspected as well as changes in the central processing of stimuli. Evidence points to central sensitizations as an important neurophysiological aberration in the focal pain problems such as osteoarthritis or myofascial pain.
The PI is engaged in the follow-up of a large cohort of FM patients and performs studies of pain mechanisms in FM as well as other rheumatic diseases with chronic pain. The possible importance of pain for the outcome of therapy, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, is a special interest field. For these studies, the PI has developed a computerized cuff pressure equipment, DoloCuff, which is now tested and validated in various patient groups.