Increased Pain Sensitivity Is Not Associated With Electrodiagnostic Findings in Women With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo determine the differences in widespread pressure pain and thermal hypersensitivity in women with minimal, moderate, and severe carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and healthy controls.MethodsA total of 72 women with CTS (19 with minimal, 18 with moderate, and 35 with severe) and 19 healthy age-matched women participated. Pressure pain thresholds were bilaterally assessed over the median, ulnar, and radial nerves, the C5 to C6 zygapophyseal joint, the carpal tunnel, and the tibialis anterior muscle. In addition, warm and cold detection thresholds and heat and cold pain thresholds were bilaterally assessed over the carpal tunnel and the thenar eminence. All outcome parameters were assessed by an assessor blinded to the participant's condition.ResultsNo significant differences in pain parameters among patients with minimal, moderate, and severe CTS were found. The results showed that PPT were significantly decreased bilaterally over the median, ulnar, and radial nerve trunks, the carpal tunnel, C5 to C6 zygapophyseal joint, and the tibialis anterior muscle in patients with minimal, moderate, or severe CTS as compared with healthy controls (all, P<0.001). In addition, patients with CTS also showed lower heat pain threshold and reduced cold pain threshold compared with controls (P<0.001). No significant sensory differences between minimal, moderate, or severe CTS were found.ConclusionsThe similar widespread pressure and thermal hypersensitivity in patients with minimal, moderate, or severe CTS and pain intensity suggests that increased pain sensitivity is not related to electrodiagnostic findings.

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