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Mislocalization of sensory information in people with chronic low back pain: a preliminary investigation
Clinical Journal of Pain (2013)
  • Benedict Wand, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • J Keeves, Epworth Rehabilitation
  • Claire Bourgoin, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Pamela George, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Anne Julia Smith, Curtin University
  • Neil E O'Connell, Brunel University
  • G Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to establish if people with
chronic low back pain (CLBP) demonstrate impairments in theability to localize sensory information delivered to the back morethan pain-free controls and determine whether any sensoryabnormalities are related to pain-related variables.
Methods: Vision was occluded and participants were stimulated
using light touch or pinprick over a number of body areas inrandom order. To assess for mislocalizations participants wereasked to nominate the location of each stimulus in reference to amarked body chart. To assess referred sensations participants whowere asked whether they experienced any sensations elsewhereduring stimulation. If referred sensations were reported, testing wasrepeated with visualization of the stimulated area.
Results: Although a small number of CLBP patients demonstrated
referral of sensations, this was not statistically different from what
was observed in a pain-free control group (P=0.381). In contrast,
mislocalizations were very common in the patient sample and statistically
more common than we found in controls (P=0.034). No
statistically significant associations were detected between sensory
function and the measured pain-related variables (all P>0.05).

Discussion: These data add to a growing body of evidence suggesting
that disturbed self-perception is a feature of CLBP. It isplausible that altered self-perception is maladaptive and contributesto the maintenance of the problem and may represent a targetof treatment for CLBP.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Wand, B., Keeves, J., Bourgoin, C., George, P., Smith, A., O'Connell, N., and Moseley, G. (2013). Mislocalization of sensory information in people with chronic low back pain: a preliminary investigation. Clinical Journal of Pain, 29(8), 737-743. DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318274b320