In this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain (SJP), Waller and coauthors report normative data for pressure and cold pain thresholds in a cohort of young pain-free adults .1The use of experimental pain models in human pain researchExperimental pain tests provide a safe and reversible means of inducing pain in a dose dependent manner in the laboratory. These methods have been used in human pain research since the 1950s with experiments covering a wide range of topics such as psychophysics (pain measurement), pharmacological interventions, psychological mechanisms, placebo effects, and brain imaging. Most of these studies have been conducted as true experiments, with between-group or crossover designs, making causal conclusions valid.2Individual differences in experimental pain sensitivityIn the past ten years or so, the focus of experimental pain research has gradually shifted away from studying effects of experimental conditions, towards studying experimental pain sensitivity as a baseline characteristic of the individual. Three factors have contributed towards this development: First, the observation that there are huge individual differences in sensitivity to experimental pain stimuli . In fact, these differences are so great that stimuli that lie well below pain threshold for some subjects may be well above pain tolerance for others.
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Oct 1, 2016
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