The role of central sensitization in shoulder pain
The presence of central sensitization (CS) has been established as a contributing factor in several musculoskeletal conditions, such as whiplash, chronic nonspecific low back pain and osteoarthritis. Recently, the possible presence of CS has become considered more frequently in patients presenting with unilateral shoulder pain.
After an extensive selection and quality assessment procedure from recent literature, 10 articles were included in this systematic review, that sought to determine whether CS plays a role in unilateral shoulder pain.
Indeed, the majority of the included studies (8/10) pointed to some form of central sensitization. However, no gold standard exists for the diagnosis of CS – various assessment methods were used to establish the presence, corresponding to different changes that may take place as a result of CS such (referred pain, hyperalgesia and widespread pressure hypersensitivity). Further research on this topic is required, among others to investigate the influence of psycholosocial factors on sensory processing in shoulder pain.
> From: Sanchis et al., Semin Arthr Rheum (2015) . All rights reserved to Elsevier, Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.