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Pain Sensitivity

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Presenter: Beales D

Clinically, level of pain sensitivity is a recognisable feature of any patients’

presentation. However, there is contrasting evidence as to how much

increased pain sensitivity relates to the experience of pain itself and

associated disability. The contrasting evidence is reflected in confusion

amongst health care practitioners in relation to the clinical significance of

increased pain sensitivity, and how to consider increased pain sensitivity

within the development of individualised management programs. This

presentation aims to provide guidance for clinicians in integrating the

concept of pain sensitivity into clinical practice including:

• Clinical meaning of pain sensitivity research performed at Curtin

University at the population level will be highlighted. We have completed

pain sensitivity profiling in 23 year olds of the Western Australian

Pregnancy Cohort ‘Raine’ Study. Specific investigations include HPA-axis

functional as a predictor of pain sensitivity/musculoskeletal pain, and

pain sensitivity in menstrual pain.

• Clinical meaning of pain sensitivity research performed at Curtin

University in specific clinical cohorts will be highlighted. This will include

discussion of clusters of pain sensitivity in chronic low back pain, and pain

sensitivity in pregnancy related lumbopelvic pain.

• A biopsychosocial framework for assessing pain sensitivity with

be discussed.

• Potential strategies for management of pain sensitivity will be presented,

along with strategies that are not useful.

Key Practice Points:

• Participants will have enhanced understanding of potential causes of

increased pain sensitivity from a biopsychosocial perspective.

• Participants will have increased understanding of specific assessment for

increased pain sensitivity in the clinic.

• Participant will understand what aspects of clinical practice may be unuseful

in the management of increased pain sensitivity.

• Participants will enhance their clinical reasoning process for managing

increased pain sensitivity.

CPD Points: 0.25

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