Hindawi

Pain Research & Management

Published by Hindawi
Online ISSN: 1918-1523
Discipline: Anesthesia & Pain Management
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Aims and scope

Pain Research and Management is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal which publishes original research articles and review articles involving laboratory, including neuroimaging and neurophysiology, and clinical findings in the field of pain research. The journal also looks into the prevention, treatment and management of pain. The journal aims at increasing the current knowledge about the pain mechanisms and encouraging the development of effective and safety treatments for pain.

 

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Article
Background. Although direct pars repair using a pedicle screw-rod-hook system has achieved satisfactory results in patients with spondylolysis, its application in adults with low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis is rarely reported. Objective. To assess the surgical effect of reduction and direct repair surgery with a pedicle screw-rod-hook system combined with autogenous bone grafts in adult patients with low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis. Methods. Sixty-four adult patients with low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis underwent reduction and direct repair using a pedicle screw-rod-hook system in our department from September 2009 to April 2018. The clinical efficacy was evaluated by clinical and radiological assessments. Results. The average follow-up was 52.15 ± 9.96 months. The visual analog scale (VAS) scores (VAS-lumbar and VAS-leg) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) at the final follow-up (FFU) were significantly lower than the preoperative levels P < 0.05 . The modified Prolo score was “excellent” for 60 patients (93.75%) and “good” for 4 patients (6.25%). The slip distance and slipping percentage showed significant decreases postoperatively and FFU compared to preoperatively P < 0.05 . There were no significant differences in the disc height, slip angle, and range of motion of the surgical intervertebral space or upper intervertebral space between preoperation and FFU P < 0.05 . Successful bony fusion had a 96.86% success rate. Conclusion. Reduction of slip and direct repair using pedicle screw-rod-hook fixation combined with autogenous iliac bone grafting in adult patients with low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis is a safe and effective technique.
 
Article
TrialDesign. Patients undergoing laminoplasty and laminectomy often experience severe postoperative pain. Local infiltration analgesia during spine surgery significantly reduces postoperative pain, which only upholds for a short time. Whether methylprednisolone and local anaesthetics are better than local anaesthetics alone in postoperative analgesia is yet to be determined. The primary aim of this research was the postoperative evaluation of efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone when used as an adjunct to local anaesthesia, ropivacaine, before wound closure after surgical procedures, laminoplasty or laminectomy. Methods. 132 patients were divided with a ratio of 1 : 1 into methylprednisolone-ropivacaine and ropivacaine alone groups. Every 30 ml of local infiltration solution consisted of 15 ml of 1% ropivacaine with 14 ml of saline along with 1 ml of 40 mg methylprednisolone and 15 ml of 1% ropivacaine with 15 ml of saline in methylprednisolone-ropivacaine group and ropivacaine group, respectively. The standardization of the study solution depended on the number of levels involved in surgery. Primary outcome was the 48-hour cumulative sufentanil demand. Results. Demographic characters and surgical variables among the groups were identical. The average 48-hour cumulative sufentanil demand was 32.5 ± 20.6 μg in the methylprednisolone-ropivacaine group and 50.9 ± 27.2 μg in the ropivacaine group ( p < 0.001 ). The estimated median time of demand of the first analgesia via patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump was 2.5 hours and 2 hours in the methylprednisolone-ropivacaine group and the ropivacaine group, respectively (hazard ratio (HR) was 0.53, with 95% Cl 0.33 to 0.87 and Log-rank of p = 0.0019 ). Conclusion. The infiltration of methylprednisolone as adjunct ropivacaine before wound closure is a safe and efficient strategy for pain management following laminoplasty or laminectomy.
 
Flowchart of study inclusion and exclusion.
Comparison of the median of VAS and MPQ.
Comparison of the baseline level and the clinical characteristics.
Article
Objective: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ultrasound-guided dry needling for trigger point inactivation in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) mixed with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Methods: A prospective and controlled clinical study was conducted. From January 2020 to December 2020, among the 100 patients who received PHN treatment in the pain department, 54 patients complicated with MPS were randomly divided into the dry needling group D (n = 28) and pharmacotherapeutic group P (n = 26). Visual analogue score (VAS) and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) were taken as primary indicators. Ultrasound-guided inactivation of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) with dry needling and intradermal needling combined with press needling were applied on group D and pharmacotherapeutic only treatment on group P respectively. The VAS score <3 and/or the MPQ score <2 represents effective treatment. The VAS score >3 and/or the MPQ score >2 represents recurrent in follow-up study three months after the treatment. Results: After four weeks treatment, the effective rate of one month later of the group D was 92.9% and the effective rate of group P was 38.5%, respectively. The recurrent rate of group D was 7.1% and 34.6% for group P, respectively, for follow-up three months later. The satisfactory rate of group D was higher than that of group P. Conclusion: Ultrasound-guided dry needling and intradermal needling combined with press needling were more effective than only pharmacotherapeutic treatment for PHN mixed with MPS, with lower recurrent rate and higher patient's satisfactory rate.
 
CONSORT flow of clinical procedures for the study. NS, normal saline.
HR and MAP changes between baseline and different time points. NS (n � 33) Lidocaine (n � 33) Esketamine (n � 35)
Article
Background: Propofol-induced injection pain is a common adverse effect during the induction of general anesthesia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of low-dose esketamine in preventing propofol injection pain. Methods: In this double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, patients scheduled for elective ear surgery under general anesthesia received either normal saline (NS), or 40 mg lidocaine, or 0.15 mg/kg esketamine 30 seconds before manual injection of propofol. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of propofol injection pain. The secondary outcomes included injection pain score, vital signs, total dosage of vasoactive drugs used within 5 minutes after induction, and adverse events related to drugs. Results: A total of 105 patients were included. Compared with the NS group (67%), pretreatment with esketamine and lidocaine significantly reduced the incidence of injection pain to 29% and 33%, respectively (both P < 0.05); however, no significant difference was found between the esketamine and lidocaine groups. The median of injection pain score was significantly lower in the esketamine and lidocaine groups (both median (interquartile range) = 0 (0-1)) than that in the NS group (1 (0-2); P < 0.05). In addition, compared with the NS and lidocaine groups, preinjection esketamine provided more stable hemodynamic parameters within 5 minutes after induction (P < 0.05). No statistical difference was found in adverse events among the three groups. Conclusions: Pretreatment with a low-dose esketamine can not only reduce the incidence of propofol injection pain but also provide a more stable circulation in patients after anesthesia induction. This convenient, well-tolerated, and economic treatment appears as an option to be routinely applied in clinic practice. Clinical Trial Registration. This trial is registered with https://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=136690 (the number for the trial registration isChiCTR2100052742).
 
Demographic, procedural, and clinical characteristics of the included patients.
Article
Objective: To evaluate the usefulness of surgical neurolysis for neuropathic pain relief in patients with posttraumatic brachial plexus injury (BPI). Methods: A prospective, longitudinal, nonrandomized, self-controlled before and after study was performed to evaluate the pain changes according to their intensity using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and the sensory recovery after surgery using the British Medical Research Council (BMRC) scale for sensory recovery. To establish significant changes, a paired T-test was performed, and in order to determine the magnitude of these changes, an effect size was measured. α = 0.05. Results: Ten patients were included with an average follow-up of 61.9 ± 53.62 months. The main mechanism of injury was vehicular trauma (70%). A significant decrease in pain after the surgical intervention was observed resulting from an average preoperative state according to VAS of 8.4 ± 1.58, to a postoperative state of 3.4 ± 3.27 (59.52%, p = 0.005, Δ = 1.572), added to a mean sensory improvement (25%) from 2.8 ± 1.62 to 3.5 ± 0.97 after surgery according to BMRC, without statistically significant changes (p=0.062), showing a moderate effect size (Δ = 0.413). Almost all patients showed improvement in the continuous and paroxysmal pattern of pain. No postoperative complications were observed. Discussion. These results suggest that in cases of BPI that originates from a compressive syndrome secondary to the posttraumatic fibrosis that surrounds the nerve structures causing strangulation and inducing hypernociception, the use of surgical neurolysis is an appropriate alternative for patients with medically refractory neuropathic pain.
 
Article
Background: The severity of the articular lesion is the single most essential element in investigating the extent of flexion that is required for activities. However, a prior study found no differences in muscle strength gains of quadriceps muscles at different knee angles in people with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Objective: The effects of patellar taping and electromyographic biofeedback (EMG-BF)-guided isometric quadriceps strengthening at different knee angles (e.g., 30°, 60°, and 90° of knee flexion) on quadriceps strength and functional performance in people with PFPS were compared in this single-blind randomized controlled parallel trial. Methods: Sixty adult male athletes with PFPS (age: 26.9 ± 1.4 years) were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group (n = 30) received patellar taping and EMG-BF-guided isometric contraction exercise at 30°, 60°, and 90° angles, and the control group (n = 30) received sham patellar taping without EMG-BF-guided exercises for six weeks. Pain intensity, knee function, muscle strength, and the single-leg triple hop (SLTH) test were assessed. Results: The pain intensity and SLTH scores between the groups were significantly different at the end of the trial (p ≤ 0.001). The EMG-BF and control groups had mean pain scores of 1.3 (0.8) and 4.5 (0.8), respectively. The EMG-BF and control groups had mean functional scores of 80.4 (5.1) and 69.1 (6.1), respectively. The mean SLTH score for the EMG-BF group was 540.7 (51.2) and for the control group it was 509.4 (49.8) after the trial. Quadriceps muscle strength was significantly higher in those who performed quadriceps strength training at 60° of knee flexion after six weeks than in those who performed strength training at 30° or 90° of knee flexion. Conclusion: The findings indicated that individuals who trained their quadriceps at a 60° knee angle had significantly stronger quadriceps muscles than individuals who trained at 30° or 90° of knee flexion. Trial Registration. This trial is registered at Clinical Trials.gov under the identifier NCT05055284.
 
Article
Purpose: Caveolae (CAV) are an invaginated microcapsule with the shape of Ω on the surface of the cell membrane. Caveolin-1 (CAV-1) is involved in neuropathic pain, and adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-exchange protein directly activated by cAMP1 (EPAC-1) is a potential therapeutic target for chronic pain. However, whether EPAC-1 promotes chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) through CAV-1 has not been reported. Here, we aim to investigate the underlying mechanism of CAV in CPSP. Methods: All the rats were divided into 9 groups, including the Naive group, Sham group, skin/muscle incision and retraction (SMIR) group, SMIR + CAV-1 siRNA group, SMIR + control siRNA group, SMIR (7 days)+Saline group, SMIR (7 days)+CE3F4 group, 8-PCPT group, and Saline group. The CPSP rat model was established after SMIR. A mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT) was recorded to evaluate the animal's behavior. Western blotting and immunofluorescent were performed to detect the protein expression levels of EPAC-1 and P-CAV-1. Results: EPAC-1 and CAV-1 were both overexpressed after operation, particularly in astrocytes, microglia, and neurons of spinal marrow (all P < 0.05). Interestingly, CAV-1 siRNA can partly reverse the SMIR-induced hypersensitivity, but there was no effect on EPAC-1. Besides, EPAC-1 blockage partly reversed the SMIR-induced hypersensitivity and CAV-1 overexpression, and EPAC-1 activation promoted CAV-1 overexpression and hypersensitivity in normal rats (all P < 0.05). Conclusion: CAV-1 mediates the functional coupling of microglia, astrocytes, and neurons, and thus EPAC-1/CAV-1 plays an important role in CPSP exacerbation.
 
Article
Background: Two analgesic strategies have been described for pain treatment after the pectus excavatum surgery: the patient-controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA) and ultrasound-guided intercostal nerve block. In this prospective, randomized and double-blinded trial and the short and long-term outcomes were compared in patients after surgery. Methods: The children were randomized to either the intercostal or control group. Ultrasound-guided intercostal nerve block was with 0.25% ropivacaine and 5 mg dexamethasone in the intercostal group, while the control group was with 0.9% normal saline. The block was performed in the intercostal space corresponding to the lowest depression of the sternum and repeated bilaterally in the spaces above and below. Postoperatively, the children in the two-groups received PCIA with fentanyl for 48 hours. The primary outcome was a pain score on the postoperative day 1, as measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Results: Sixty children undergoing the Nuss procedure were enrolled in the trial. The mean differences in VAS scores between the two groups were 3.2 in the PACU (p < 0.001), 1.7 on postoperative day 1 (p < 0.001) and 0.7 on postoperative day 2 (p=0.015). The opioid consumption was significantly lower in the intercostal group during the postoperative 48 hours (p < 0.05). The anxiety and QOL scores in the intercostal group were significantly improved on some points of time (p < 0.05). The incidence of adverse events was markedly lower in the intercostal group during the postoperative 48 hours (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest ultrasound-guided intercostal nerve block with PCIA may be more effective than PCIA alone in children who underwent the Nuss procedure.
 
Consort follow diagram.
(a) Systolic blood pressure; (b) heart rate.
(a) Systolic blood pressure; (b) heart rate.
Article
Background: Comparing bupivacaine's adjuvants in spinal anesthesia, we assessed the specific blocking characteristics and adverse effects of bupivacaine alone and in combination with dexmedetomidine or meperidine in spinal anesthesia during cesarean section. Methods: In this double-blind randomized clinical trial study, ninety pregnant women were divided into groups to receive 10 mg bupivacaine (group B), 10 mg bupivacaine with 5 μg dexmedetomidine (group BD), or 10 mg bupivacaine with 10 mg meperidine (group BM) intrathecal. Patients were assessed for the quality of analgesia during operations. Durations of sensory and motor blocks and anesthesia-related complications were analyzed using SPSS 21, and p values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: The onset of sensory and motor blocks was essentially the same in all treated groups. Block regression time was significantly prolonged in the BD group compared to the B and BM groups (p < 0.001). The duration of analgesia was significantly longer in the BD and BM groups than in the B group (p < 0.001). The level of sedation in the BD group was higher than in the B group. Shivering occurred in 40% of patients in the B group, which was significantly more than that of the BD (16.6%) and BM (33.3%) groups. Itching happened in 33.3% of women in the BM group which was statistically more than that of the B (3.33%) and BD (0) groups. The incidence of adverse effects was the same in all groups. Conclusion: The combination of bupivacaine with dexmedetomidine significantly prolonged sensory and motor regression time and duration of analgesia.
 
Process of constructing a hypothetical model of the relationship between physical activities and pain/dysesthesia and kinesiophobia. S/LIE: stretching and light-intensity exercises; MSE: muscle strength exercises; MTH/G: maintenance tasks of the house and garden including kitchen garden; SF, somatic focus; AA, activity avoidance; EQ-5D, EuroQol 5-dimension.
Process of constructing a hypothetical model of the relationship between physical activities and pain/dysesthesia and kinesiophobia. S/LIE: stretching and light-intensity exercises; MSE: muscle strength exercises; MTH/G: maintenance tasks of the house and garden including kitchen garden; SF, somatic focus; AA, activity avoidance; EQ-5D, EuroQol 5-dimension.
Process of constructing a hypothetical model of the relationship between physical activities and pain/dysesthesia and kinesiophobia. S/LIE: stretching and light-intensity exercises; MSE: muscle strength exercises; MTH/G: maintenance tasks of the house and garden including kitchen garden; SF, somatic focus; AA, activity avoidance; EQ-5D, EuroQol 5-dimension.
Flowchart of extracting participants for analysis. A total of 431 older adults who had undergone surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis were included in the study and 322 responded (74.7%). Ultimately, data from 297 individuals (68.9%) were analyzed.
The model revised with reference to modified indices. The thick two-way arrows are the covariances added to the hypothetical model. S/LIE: stretching and light-intensity exercises; MSE: muscle strength exercises; MTH/G: maintenance tasks of the house and garden including kitchen garden; SF, somatic focus; AA, activity avoidance; EQ-5D, EuroQol 5-dimension.
Article
Objectives: This study assessed the validity of a hypothesized model predicting that physical activity improves health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older Japanese adults with pain, dysesthesia, and kinesiophobia following lumbar surgery. Methods: We included 431 elderly patients who underwent surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis at two hospitals. The frequency of physical activity, pain, dysesthesia, kinesiophobia (somatic focus and activity avoidance), and HRQOL were investigated using a questionnaire. Missing values were complemented by the stochastic regression imputation. We constructed the following model. (i) physical activity affects pain, dysesthesia, and kinesiophobia. (ii) pain, dysesthesia, and kinesiophobia separately affect HRQOL. This hypothetical model was tested by structural equation modeling. The model was improved based on a modified index. Results: Of the 431 respondents, 297 (median age 72 years, range 65-91 years; 158 men and 139 women) were analyzed (68.9%). The fit of the model improved based on the modification index and was acceptable comparative fit index, 0.948; Tucker-Lewis index, 0.919; root mean square error of approximation, 0.048 (90% confidence interval, 0.026-0.069), and standardized root mean square residual (0.046). The paths by which physical activities reduced pain or dysesthesia (standardized pass coefficients, -0.406) and somatic focus (-0.301) and consequently improved HRQOL were significant (pain/dysesthesia, -0.684; somatic focus, -0.218). Discussion. Our hypothesized model predicting that physical activity improves HRQOL in terms of pain, dysesthesia, and kinesiophobia in older Japanese adults after lumbar surgery was validated using cross-sectional data. Interventional studies on physical activity based on this model are required to establish the model.
 
Article
The incidence of cancer is increasing worldwide on a yearly basis, with the number of patients with bone metastases also increasing annually. Events associated with bone metastases can seriously affect patient quality of life, through pain, hypercalcemia, bone marrow regeneration disorders, and spinal cord compression. In this nonrandomized controlled clinical trial study, we focused on the relationship between bone metastasis, pain, and cytokines before and after radiotherapy. We hypothesized that radiotherapy alters the cytokine profile of the local bone environment. Combined with the analgesic effects of radiotherapy, certain cytokines may be very sensitive to radiation. External radiation therapy is commonly used to treat cancer patients with bone metastases and can effectively relieve metastasis-related pain, although its underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. For this case-control study, we recruited 30 cancer patients with bone metastasis and 30 healthy individuals. Peripheral venous blood from healthy individuals was collected. The clinical characteristics and peripheral venous blood were collected from patients one week before and one week after radiotherapy. The preradiotherapy and postradiotherapy pain scores, quality of life (QOL), and blood cytokine profiles of the patients to that of the controls were collected to identify pain-related cytokines. Finally, the pain score and the quality of life score improved significantly after radiotherapy. Moreover, the preradiotherapy and postradiotherapy blood cytokine profiles of the patients showed significant differences, indicating that the analgesic effect of radiotherapy against bone metastases is mediated via altered cytokine production. Furthermore, some cytokines were more sensitive to radiotherapy. The levels of MIP-1δ, MCP-2, TIMP-1, RANTES, IGFBP3, and TNF-α showed significant differences in the pairwise comparative analysis and may therefore mediate pain associated with bone metastasis.
 
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of group-delivered mindfulness-based stress reduction as compared to a waitlist control group among breast cancer survivors living with CNP. Methods: A randomized controlled trial design was applied, and outcomes collected included pain, emotional function, quality of life, and global impression of change. Results: A total of 98 women were randomized and included in analyses. The sample included 49 women in the mindfulness-based stress reduction group, and 49 women in the waitlist control group. The intervention group participants (mean age 51.3 years, standard deviation = 11.4) and waitlist participants (mean age 55.1 years, standard deviation = 9.6) reported an average pain duration of approximately three years. No significant differences were found on the primary outcome of the proportions of women with reduced pain interference scores from the time of randomization to 3 months after the intervention was received. No significant changes were found among secondary outcomes. Conclusion: Our randomized clinical trial did not find significant benefits of group-based mindfulness-based stress reduction for the management of CNP. The current study findings should be replicated and are important to consider given ongoing concerns that nonsignificant results of mindfulness-based stress reduction are often unpublished.
 
Article
Numerous studies have suggested that the myofascial trigger points are responsible for most of the myofascial pain syndrome, so it seems reasonable that its destruction is a good therapeutic solution. The effectiveness of dry needling (DN) has been confirmed in muscles with myofascial trigger points, hypertonicity, and spasticity. The objective of this study is to analyze the need of repetitive punctures on muscles in different situations. The levator auris longus (LAL) muscle and gastrocnemius muscle from adult male Swiss mice were dissected and maintained alive, while being submerged in an oxygenated Ringer’s solution. DN was evaluated under four animal models, mimicking the human condition: normal healthy muscles, muscle fibers with contraction knots, muscles submerged in a depolarizing Ringer solution (KCl-CaCl2), and muscles submerged in Ringer solution with formalin. Thereafter, samples were evaluated with optical microscopy (LAL) and scanning electron microscopy (gastrocnemius). Healthy muscles allowed the penetration of needles between fibers with minimal injuries. In muscles with contraction knots, the needle separated many muscle fibers, and several others were injured, while blood vessels and intramuscular nerves were mostly not injured. Muscles submerged in a depolarizing solution inducing sustained contraction showed more injured muscular fibers and several muscle fibers separated by the needle. Finally, the muscles submerged in Ringer solution with formalin showed a few number of injured muscular fibers and abundant muscle fibers separated by the needle. Scanning electron microscopy images confirm the optical analyses. In summary, dry needling is a technique that causes mild injury irrespective of the muscle tone.
 
Article
Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of a single application of 2% sodium hyaluronate (SH) in controlling pain after pterygium excision as compared with that of a control group. Methods: We performed a prospective randomized controlled trial in the patients who underwent pterygium excision. The outcome of topical application of 2.0% SH was measured using the visual analogue scale (VAS), in comparison with that observed in a control group (without SH). The area of ocular surface defects was assessed by ImageJ freeware. Analysis of pain scores and ocular surface defects were observed from both groups immediately after the operation, Day 0, and 3 subsequent days. Results: Thirty patients were randomly divided into control group and SH treatment group. The initial area of the ocular surface defect on Day 0 was approximately the same for both groups (p=0.242). The medians of pain score assessed by the VAS on Days 0, 1, and 2 were 5, 3, and 0 for the SH group and 6, 5, and 3 for the control group, respectively. The pain score was statistically significantly decreased in the SH group compared to the control group on Day 1 (p < 0.001) and Day 2 (p < 0.001). The pain level of both groups was nearly the same on Day 3 (p=0.141). The area of ocular surface defects was significantly different between two groups on Day 1 (p < 0.001) and Day 2 (p < 0.001). Postoperative complications were not observed. Conclusion: A single topical application of 2% SH in pterygium excision was effective in relieving pain in the early postoperative period without any adverse effects. This innovation may provide alternative pain control in pterygium surgery.
 
Included participants and progress of measures. FOP-9, Fear of Pain-9 Items; PCS, Pain Catastrophizing Scale; ICU, Intensive Care Unit.
Article
Background: Fear of pain (FOP) has been recognized as an influential moderator and determinant of the perception and disability of chronic pain. However, studies on FOP in postoperative acute pain are few and inconsistent. Objective: To explore whether FOP is related to pain intensity after thoracic surgery and provide a reference for FOP study in postoperative pain. Methods: From February to March 2022, 89 patients completed Chinese Version of Fear of Pain-9 Items (FOP-9), Chinese version of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI, including least, worst, and average pain) and Simplified Chinese version of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Correlation analyses and mediation analyses were used for exploring the relationship between factors. Results: Mediation analyses showed that the total effects of FOP-9 on BPI all were significant (least pain: effect = 0.085, p=0.013, 95% CI = 0.019∼0.151; worst pain: effect = 0.116, p=0.004, 95% CI = 0.037∼0.196; average pain: effect = 0.102, p=0.005, 95% CI = 0.031∼0.174) indicating that FOP-9 was a predictor to BPI. The 95% bias-corrected bootstrap confidence interval of estimate of indirect effect between FOP-9 and least pain/average pain through PCS was -0.036∼0.024 and -0.003∼0.069 (all contain zero), which indicated that PCS is not a mediator between FOP-9 and least pain/average pain. However, the estimate of indirect effect between FOP-9 and worst pain through PCS were 0.048 (95% CI = 0.095∼0.088), and direct effect was not statistically significant (95% CI = -0.017∼0.153), indicating that PCS acted as a complete intermediary between FOP-9 and worst pain. FOP-9 and PCS showed significant positive prediction effect on worst pain. Conclusions: Both trait FOP and state FOP were associated with higher postoperative pain reports after thoracic surgery. Trait FOP influences postoperative pain through the mediating effect of state FOP.
 
Article
Objectives: This study aims at investigating the internal heat acupuncture (IHA) combined with the high-voltage long-duration pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) therapeutic effect on subacute postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Methods: This retrospective study comprised 81 cases with PHN. They were divided into three groups: IHA combined with the high-voltage long-duration PRF group (IHA-PRF), intradermal injection combined with the high-voltage long-duration PRF group (II-PRF), and the high-voltage long-duration PRF group. The pain numerical rating score (NRS), IL-6, Gal-3, and blood glucose levels were recorded before and after treatment. Results: Compared with before treatment, NRS scores of the three groups were all decreased at each time point. NRS scores of the IHA-PRF group patients decreased significantly in comparison to the PRF group at 1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks following treatment, while group II-PRF only decreased significantly at one week following treatment. Compared with groups II-PRF and PRF, respectively, IL-6 and Gal-3 levels in plasma of patients in group IHA-PRF were significantly decreased at 4 and 12 weeks after treatment. The effective rate of group IHA-PRF was 88.9%, which was considerably more than the other groups, II-PRF (63.0%) and PRF (63.0%). Compared with group II-PRF, patients' blood glucose levels in IHA-PRF and PRF groups significantly decreased three days and one week after treatment. Conclusion: Internal heat acupuncture combined with high-voltage long-duration pulsed radiofrequency has a satisfactory therapeutic effect on subacute PHN and has no obvious adverse reactions, which is especially suitable for patients with poor blood glucose control.
 
Cabbage leaves in a vacuum-sealed pack.
CONSORT flow diagram.
(a) Boxplots showing differences in Oxford knee score and (b) boxplots showing differences in NRS scores.
(a) Boxplots showing differences in Oxford knee score and (b) boxplots showing differences in NRS scores.
Article
Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common joint degeneration ailments adversely affecting the elderly population by impairing their physical movements and quality of life. This study aimed to establish the efficacy of cabbage leaf application in alleviating pain-related distress and positively improving OA conditions. Materials and methods: Patients with moderate to severe (grades 3-4) OA by the Kellgren and Lawrence grading system with a poor to good Oxford Knee Score were selected for enrollment in this clinical trial. The participants were divided into three intervention groups: the cooling gel pad group for 20 minutes duration once a day (n = 20), the diclofenac gel group for 4 times a day (n = 20) as the control group (total n = 40), and the cabbage leaf group for 1-hour duration once a day (n = 20) as the experimental group (total n = 20). All trial participants were trained to record their Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) pain score and Oxford Knee Score and were advised to undergo weekly follow-ups and assessment of the outcome at 4 weeks. Data were analyzed by the paired t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: The cabbage leaf group and cooling gel pad group showed a significant difference in both the Oxford Knee Score (p < 0.001 in both groups) and NRS score (p < 0.001 in both groups) before and after the intervention, by using the paired t-test. The three study procedures were found to be significantly different with respect to both the Oxford Knee Score (p=0.012) and NRS score (p < 0.001), by using ANOVA. Conclusion: This study clinically demonstrated that cabbage leaf application and cooling gel pad application showed similar improvements in reducing OA symptoms in terms of the overall NRS score and Oxford Knee Score. Their therapeutic effectiveness was better than that of diclofenac gel.
 
Article
Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the symptomatic compression neuropathy of the median nerve at the wrist level that may become a reason for upper limb disability, in the women and men population. Objective: This study aimed to compare the efficacy of the neurodynamic technique (NT) and carpal bone mobilization technique (CBMT) incorporated with tendon gliding exercises (TGE) as an effect-enhancing adjunct while managing the participants with chronic CTS. Methods: The study followed a two-arm parallel-group randomized comparative design. Thirty participants (aged 30-59 years) with chronic CTS were recruited randomly to both the NT and CBMT groups. In addition to the TGE (a common adjunct), NT and CBMT were performed in the NT and CBMT groups, respectively, for three weeks. The primary outcome measures including pain intensity, functional status, grip strength, and motor nerve conduction study were assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS), Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ), hand-held dynamometer, and electromyograph, respectively, at baseline, 3 weeks postintervention, and follow-up at one week post end of the intervention. Paired and unpaired t-test were used to calculate the differences in intervention effects within and between the groups with keeping the level of significance α at 0.05. Results: The data analysis revealed a significant (95% CI, p < 0.05) difference for all outcomes within each group compared across different time intervals. Similarly, a significant difference was found for all outcomes except pain and grip strength compared between groups at 3 weeks postintervention and follow-up at one week post end of the intervention. Conclusions: The NT revealed more effectiveness than the CBMT when incorporated with TGE to improve nerve conduction velocity and functional status of the hand. However, both NT and CBMT were equally effective in improving pain and grip strength while managing the participants with chronic CTS. In addition, the TGE contributed as a beneficial, effect-enhancing adjunct to the NT and CBMT differently. Significance. The study will guide the physiotherapist in applying either of the combination techniques suitable for achieving treatment objectives while managing the participants with chronic CTS.
 
Schematic of included patients.
Schematic of included patients.
Article
Background: The enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program is aimed to shorten patients' recovery process and improve clinical outcomes. This study aimed to compare the outcomes between the ERAS program and the traditional pathway among patients with ankle fracture and distal radius fracture. Methods: This is a multicenter prospective clinical controlled study consisting of 323 consecutive adults with ankle fracture from 12 centers and 323 consecutive adults with distal radial fracture from 13 centers scheduled for open reduction and internal fixation between January 2017 and December 2018. According to the perioperative protocol, patients were divided into two groups: the ERAS group and the traditional group. The primary outcome was the patients' satisfaction of the whole treatment on discharge and at 6 months postoperatively. The secondary outcomes include delapsed time between admission and surgery, length of hospital stay, postoperative complications, functional score, and the MOS item short form health survey-36. Results: Data describing 772 patients with ankle fracture and 658 patients with distal radius fracture were collected, of which 323 patients with ankle fracture and 323 patients with distal radial fracture were included for analysis. The patients in the ERAS group showed higher satisfaction levels on discharge and at 6 months postoperatively than in the traditional group (P < 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, patients with distal radial fracture in the ERAS group were more satisfied with the treatment (P=0.001). Furthermore, patients with ankle fracture had less time in bed (P < 0.001) and shorter hospital stay (P < 0.001) and patients with distal radial fracture received surgery quickly after being admitted into the ward in the ERAS group than in the traditional group (P=0.001). Conclusions: Perioperative protocol based on the ERAS program was associated with high satisfaction levels, less time in bed, and short hospital stay without increased complication rate and decreased functional outcomes.
 
Article
Objectives: To investigate the correlation between tamoxifen (TAM) and lumbar intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IVDD). Methods: The patients who visited the department of spine surgery from January 2015 to December 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Those with a history of breast cancer surgery were identified and their data were collected. These data included patients' age, body mass index (BMI), menstrual history, postoperative history, drug treatment plan, and imaging data. The participants were divided into the TAM group and the non-TAM group. Lumbar IVDD was assessed by lumbar lordosis (LL), vertebral CT density, lumbar disc height index (DHI), Modic changes, and modified Pfirrmann grading score. SPSS 20 was used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 75 patients were included in this study, 46 patients in the TAM group and 29 patients in the non-TAM group. No significant differences were present in age, BMI, postoperative history, LL, and vertebral CT density between the two groups. The DHI of L1/2 and L2/3 in the TAM group was lower compared to the non-TAM group (P=0.038 and P=0.034, respectively), while comparisons regarding the DHI of L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1, and the average DHI between TAM and non-TAM groups were not significant. The modified Pfirrmann grading scores of the L1/2 and L2/3 IVDs in the TAM group were higher than those in the non-TAM group (P=0.004 and P=0.025, respectively). Comparisons of L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1 between the two groups were not significant. The comparisons regarding the occurrence of Modic changes did not show a significant difference between the TAM and non-TAM groups. Conclusions: This study indicates that there might be some positive correlation between TAM use and lumbar IVDD. In particular, the degeneration of L1/2 and L2/3 has shown a correlation with TAM use.
 
Flowchart showing details of clinical procedures throughout the study.
Article
Background: The study was to assess the efficacy and safety of nalbuphine combined with dexmedetomidine for preventive analgesia in endoscopic sinus surgery. Methods: 110 patients with deviation of the nasal septum were randomized into the nalbuphine group (group N), dexmedetomidine combined with nalbuphine group (group DN), and saline group (group C). Fifteen minutes before the induction of anesthesia, patients in group N were injected nalbuphine 0.2 mg/kg intravenously; patients in group DN received intravenous infusion of dexmedetomidine 0.5 μg/kg and injection of nalbuphine 0.2 mg/kg; patients in group C received 0.9% saline. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), numerical rating scale (NRS) scores, quality of recovery-40 (QoR-40) scores, the need for remedial analgesia, the consumption of remifentanil and propofol, and the incidence of adverse reactions were recorded. Results: MAP, HR, and NRS scores of the DN group were significantly lower and the QoR-40 scores were higher than those of groups N and C (P < 0.001). The need for remedial analgesia, the consumption of remifentanil and propofol, and the incidence of nausea in the DN group were the lowest among the three groups (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Preventive analgesia with nalbuphine and dexmedetomidine in endoscopic sinus surgery can not only maintain hemodynamic stability but also reduce intraoperative anesthetic dosage, postoperative pain, and improve the quality of postoperative recovery without affecting the revival and extubation time.
 
The lumbar bending and returning task.
Approximating the EMG lattice location. A 3 cm side-by-side EMG electrode grid was placed on the lumbar spinous process.
Explanatory model of interaction between pain intensity, pain site, and muscle activity.
Article
Background: Pain can alter muscle activity, although it is not clear how pain intensity and site location affect muscle activity. This study aimed to reveal the complex associations among the pain site, pain intensity/quality, muscle activity, and muscle activity distribution. Methods: Electromyographic signals were recorded from above a bilateral lumbar erector spinae muscle with a four-channel electrode in 23 patients with chronic low back pain while they performed a lumbar bending and returning task. We calculated the average value of muscle activity during the extension phase (agonist activity) and the centroid of muscle activity, as well as the distance between the centroid of muscle activity and pain site. We also assessed the pain site and pain intensity/quality by the interview and questionnaire method. A generalized linear mixed model analysis was performed to determine the relationships among pain intensity/quality, pain site, and muscle activity. Results: The results showed that muscle activity during the extension phase was significantly negatively associated with neuropathic pain and "pain caused by light touch." In addition, the distance between the centroid of muscle activity and pain site during the extension phase was significantly positively associated with intermittent pain, "throbbing pain," "splitting pain," "punishing-cruel," and "pain caused by light touch." Conclusions: Our findings suggest the existence of a motor adaptation that suppresses muscle activity near the painful area as the pain intensity increases. Furthermore, the present study indicates that the presence or absence of this motor adaptation depended on the pain quality.
 
Display of the number of surveyed physicians per municipality.
Availability of peer staff at surveyed sites. Multiplicity-adjusted p values (from Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test) are indicated when there is a statistically significant difference between the groups (public and private).
Article
Optimal diagnosis and treatment of pain require a multidisciplinary approach that demands considerable coordination and forethought. A cross-sectional physician survey based on an online questionnaire was carried out to assess the adoption of multidisciplinary working patterns, compare the public and private models, and provide an update on the resources and organization of specialized pain care in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. Active pain practitioners identified through the Catalan Health Service and Pain Society databases were sent an invitation in December 2020. Of the 321 physicians contacted, 91 (28.3%) answered and 71 provided complete responses (commonly anesthesiologists, representing 92 different sites; some worked at public and private sites). Up to 78.7% reported working in pain management teams, but only 53.5% were regularly involved in teaching or research activities. Thus, the proportion of multidisciplinary sites lies somewhere in-between. Median wait times were significantly shorter and within the recommended standards in private practices (e.g., 15 vs. 90 days in public practices for noncancer patients). In turn, private practices were slightly less staffed and equipped, albeit the differences did not reach statistical significance. Respondents made a median of 530 regular and 30 emergency visits per year, of which 190 involved interventional procedures. They offered a wide range of pharmacological and interventional therapies, although psychotherapy and the most sophisticated procedures were only available in ≤50% of sites. Pain clinicians and facilities are reasonably available in Catalonia, but barely more than half are truly multidisciplinary. Public and private practices differ in some aspects; the latter seems to be more accessible, but it is restricted to patients who can afford it. Compared to previous reports, this update shows both advances and outstanding issues. Multidisciplinary care could be expanded by incorporating more psychologists and some interventional procedures. The public practices should reduce wait times.
 
Flow chart of patients included in the present study.
Article
Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the incidence and associated factors of complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS I) in patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) for radial head fractures. Methods: The study enrolled 601 radial head fracture patients treated with ORIF, 523 of which completed the 1-year follow-up. The incidence of CRPS I in those patients was assessed using the Budapest criteria. Patients were then divided into 2 groups: patients with CRPS I (n = 28) and patients without CRPS I (n = 495). The patients' demographic and clinical data before the operation were prospectively collected by our team. Independent t-tests and χ 2 tests were used as univariate analyses to compare the demographic and clinical data between the two groups. Meanwhile, multivariate regression analysis was conducted to identify the associated risk factors for CRPS I. Results: The incidence of CRPS I in patients with radial head fractures treated with ORIF was 5.5% during the first year following surgery. Significant differences were observed in age, gender, type of trauma, modified Mason Classification, and depressive personality disorders. The logistic regression analysis revealed that the female gender, modified Mason type III fractures, and depressive patients were significantly more likely to develop CRPS I (p=0.021, 0.023, and 0.025, respectively). Conclusions: The incidence of CRPS I among radial head fracture patients undergoing ORIF was 5.5%. In addition, early detection of CRPS I and providing adequate intervention will likely result in greater benefits for those patients.
 
Article
Objective: Posterior instrumented fusion is the most widely accepted surgical treatment for spinal stenosis with degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). However, long fusion can affect daily activities due to lumbar stiffness. Dynamic stabilization has been introduced to overcome the drawbacks of fusion in recent years. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of dynamic stabilization (Dynesys system) with posterior instrumented fusion for the management of spinal stenosis with DLS. Methods: This study retrospectively reviewed 65 consecutive patients with spinal stenosis and DLS who were undergoing surgical treatment between January 2013 and December 2017. Among them, 34 patients (Dynesys group) had fenestration decompression and Dynesys stabilization, whereas 31 patients (fusion group) underwent posterior instrumented fusion. Clinical outcomes, radiographic data, and postoperative complications were compared between the two groups. Results: The mean number of fixed segments was 3.6 ± 0.9 in the Dynesys group and 4.2 ± 1.0 in the fusion group. Lower average values of operating time and blood loss were observed in the Dynesys group (P < 0.05). At an average follow-up of 42 months, there were no significant differences in the visual analog scale for the leg pain (VASleg), the scoliosis Cobb's angle, and the lumbar lordosis between the two groups (P > 0.05). The visual analog scale for back pain (VASback), oswestry disability index (ODI), and lumbar stiffness disability index (LSDI) scores of the Dynesys group were lower compared with the fusion group (P < 0.05). The range of motion (ROM) of implanted segments was significantly higher in the Dynesys group as compared to the fusion group (P < 0.05). The overall complications were less in the Dynesys group, but the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Both dynamic stabilization and instrumented fusion can improve the clinical outcomes of patients with spinal stenosis and mild DLS. Compared to instrumented fusion, dynamic stabilization has the advantages of less invasion and motion preservation.
 
Article
Background: Pentazocine produces a wide variety of actions in the treatment of perioperative analgesia. Neostigmine is a cholinesterase inhibitor used to antagonize the residual effects of muscle relaxants and also produces an analgesic effect. Objectives: To investigate the analgesic effects of intrathecally injected pentazocine and neostigmine and their interaction. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were used to test the analgesic effect of pentazocine and neostigmine using the paw formalin pain model and the incision mechanical allodynia model. Pentazocine (3, 10, 30, and 100 μg), neostigmine (0.3, 1, 3, and 10 μg) or a pentazocine-neostigmine mixture were separately injected to evaluate their antinociceptive effects alone on the treatment groups. The corresponding control group received an intrathecal injection containing the same volume of saline. The formalin pain test, or the plantar incision pain behavior test were performed 30 minutes later. Isobolographic analysis was used to evaluate the interaction between pentazocine and neostigmine. Intrathecally administered selective mu-opioid receptor antagonist CTAP, selective kappa-opioid receptor antagonist nor-Binaltorphimine (nor-BNI), nonselective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone, and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist atropine were also used to test the possible interaction mechanism. These antagonists were used 30 minutes before the pentazocine and neostigmine mixtures which were intrathecally injected. Results: Intrathecally administered pentazocine (3, 10, 30, and 100 μg) and neostigmine (0.3, 1, 3, and 10 μg) alone had a marked dose-related impact on suppressing the biphasic responses in the formalin test. Pentazocine (3, 10, 30, and 100 μg) and neostigmine (0.3, 1, 3, and 10 μg) alone attenuated the mechanical allodynia in a plantar incision model in a dose-dependent manner. Isobolographic analysis revealed that the mixture of intrathecal pentazocine and neostigmine synergistically decreased both phase I and II activity in the formalin test and mechanical allodynia in the plantar incision model. Pretreatment of intrathecally administered nor-BNI, naloxone, atropine, but not CTAP, antagonized the analgesic effect of the pentazocine-neostigmine mixture. Conclusions: All of these results suggest that the combined application of pentazocine and neostigmine is an effective way to relieve pain from formalin and acute incision mechanical allodynia. The synergistic effect between pentazocine and neostigmine is mostly attributed to the kappa-opioid receptor and the cholinergic receptor in the spinal cord.
 
Article
Background: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a clinically common and expensive disease. Patients frequently take sick leaves because of pain and dysfunction, and their unpleasant life and work experiences cause psychological depression and anxiety and affect their quality of life. Sleep disturbance is a common problem among patients with low back pain (LBP) with more than 50% complaining about poor sleep quality. This study aimed to explore the correlations between anxiety, sleep quality, and pressure-pain threshold (PPT) and their differences between patients with CLBP and asymptomatic people. Methods: Forty patients with CLBP and 40 asymptomatic people were recruited. Relevant data, including State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and PPT, were individually and independently collected by blinded physiotherapists with a practicing certificate and then statistically analyzed. An independent sample t-test was used to determine the intergroup differences between patients with CLBP and asymptomatic populations. Pearson correlation coefficient was employed for correlation analysis. Results: The CLBP group had significantly higher anxiety scores (41.64 ± 9.88 vs. 36.69 ± 8.31; t = -2.496, p=0.015) than the asymptomatic group. A significant difference was found in the total score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (6.41 ± 2.43 vs. 5.09 ± 2.18; t = -2.628, p=0.010) but not in the trait anxiety (44.00 ± 7.83 vs. 42.67 ± 9.51; t = -0.695, p=0.489) of the two groups. State-Trait Anxiety Inventory showed a low to moderate negative correlation with PPT. No remarkable correlation was observed between Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and PPT. Conclusions: Patients with CLBP showed considerably worse state anxiety and sleep quality than asymptomatic people; however, no substantial difference in PPT was found between the two groups. The results suggest that in clinical practice, the focus should include pain and related social and psychological factors. CLBP treatment could be considered from multiple perspectives and disciplines.This trial is registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (Trial registration: ChiCTR-TRC-13003701).
 
The flowchart of the screening process.
Article
Objectives: As a urinary dysfunction disorder, stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is more common in women than in men. Acupuncture, a traditional minimally invasive technique, has potential efficacy in the treatment of SUI. The purpose of this overview is to critically assess the available evidence on acupuncture for the treatment of SUI in women. Methods: Two researchers searched seven databases for systematic reviews (SRs)/meta-analyses (MAs) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on acupuncture for SUI. Two researchers assessed the included SRs/MAs using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR-2), the Risk of Bias in Systematic (ROBIS) scale, the list of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA), and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Results: Eight published SRs/MAs were included in our overview. According to the results of the AMSTAR-2 assessment, all SRs/MAs were of very low quality. According to the ROBIS evaluation results, no SR/MA was assessed as low risk of bias. According to the results of the PRISMA checklist assessment, no SR/MA was fully reported on the checklist. According to GRADE, a total of 27 outcomes extracted from the included SRs/MAs were evaluated, and only 1 was rated as high quality. Conclusions: Acupuncture may be an effective and safe complementary treatment for SUI in women. However, further standard and comprehensive SRs/MAs and RCTs are needed to provide an evidence-based medical rationale for this.
 
Schematic presentation of sampling procedure for the study of work-related upper extremity disorders among teaching staff in the University of Gondar, Ethiopia.
Prevalence of self-reported work-related upper extremity disorders of teaching staff in the University of Gondar, Ethiopia.
Article
Background: Work-related upper extremity disorders (WRUEDs) are aches, pains, tension, and discomfort in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. The situation is escalating in educational sectors due to a lousy working environment intertwined with extracurricular deeds. However, empirical evidence focusing on academicians in higher education society is negligible. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence and risk factors of WRUEDs among university teaching staff in Ethiopia. Materials and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study design from March to April 2021. A sample of 607 academicians were recruited using a stratified sampling technique, and a self-administered structured Nordic Musculoskeletal questionnaire was used to assess upper extremity disorders during the past 12 months. The collected data were entered into EpiData version 4.6 and analyzed using STATA version 14 software. The association between dependent and independent variables was computed with a binary logistic regression. The association was ascertained using an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) at a p value of <0.05. Results: A total of 607 participants correctly completed the questionnaire (response rate of 95.44%). Age ranges from 21 to 70 with a mean of 32.39 (SD ± 6.80)) years, and the majority (76.28%) of them were males. The prevalence of WRUED during the last 12 months was 59.14% [95% CI (55.1, 63.1)]. There is no significant difference in prevalence between males and females (45.14% versus 14%), respectively; χ 2 = 0.001; p=0.974. Working more than 8 hours per day [AOR: 2.37; 95% CI (1.40, 4.00)], not performing physical exercise [AOR: 2.34; 95% CI (1.6, 3.45)], and job dissatisfaction [AOR: 2.50; 95% CI (1.69, 3.68)] were factors significantly increased the risk of experiencing WRUEDs. Conclusion: This study divulged upper extremity disorder among university teaching staff is pervasive, with more than three-fifth of the academicians were suffering from the condition, and it also indicates that males experienced higher proportions of pain than females. The manifestation of upper extremity disorder was affected by working hours per day, physical activity, and job satisfaction. Optimizing working hours, having a group regular exercise, and proper management of workplace conditions related to job satisfaction are recommended to lessen the condition.
 
Outline of study procedures.
Differences in cognitive performance score domains (LOTCA-7-subset scores) in healthy and fatigued mature and older subjects. Data expressed as means ± SD. There was a significant reduction in the values of cognitive scores (LOTCA-7-subset scores) in cases with fatigue compared to normal healthy controls. For all estimated LOTCA-7-subset scores, cognitive decline was significant at R = 0.530 and P = 0.001 (fatigue versus control cases), respectively. O: orientation; VP: visual perception; SP: spatial perception; MP: motor praxis; VO: vasomotor organization; TO: thinking operations; AC: attention and concentration; TS: total LOTCA score.
Differences in the levels of nitric oxide (NO) and adiponectin biomarkers markers of healthy and fatigued mature and older adults. Data expressed as means ± SD. In cases with fatigue, the data showed a significant reduction in the levels of both nitric oxide and adiponectin with an estimated R = 0.245, aP = 0.01 for nitric oxide (NO), and R = 0.361, bP = 0.01 for adiponectin when compared with normal healthy controls.
Article
Objective: The present study explores the underlying factors of cognitive abilities in relation to the expression of adiponectin and nitric oxide, fatigue, and other cofounder variables such as physical activity, diabetes, and adiposity status in healthy home-resident mature and older adults. Background: Fatigue has been shown to be correlated with many metabolic and psychiatric conditions, such as cognitive, neurological, musculoskeletal, and hormonal disorders, as well as physical and unhealthy lifestyles. Methods: A total of 85 home residents aged 50-85 years participated in this case-control study. Mental, fatigue, and pain status were assessed by the cognitive assessment (LOTCA), fatigue questionnaire (CIS20r), and pain score (0-10). VO2 max and the prevalidated global physical activity questionnaire were used to estimate physical status. The levels of adiponectin, nitric oxide (NO), and variables related to diabetes, such as blood sugar and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c %), were assessed using ELISA and spectrophotometric immunoassays. Results: The participants were classified according to the CIS-fatigue score into two groups: the healthy group (n = 40) and the fatigue group (n = 45). In fatigued subjects, LOTCA scores as a measure of cognitive performance significantly decreased (65.97 ± 7.17; P = 0.01) as compared with healthy subjects (LOTCA scores, 94.2 ± 7.5). The results of cognitive performance domains (LOTCA seven-subset scores) showed a significant decrease in the scores of orientation, visual perception, spatial perception, motor praxis, vasomotor organization, thinking operations, attention, and concentration in older subjects with fatigue compared with healthy subjects. In addition, pain scores significantly increased, and the expression of both nitric oxide (NO) and adiponectin significantly reduced in older adults with fatigue as compared with healthy controls. The decline in cognitive abilities among older adults with fatigue is significantly associated with the CIS-fatigue score, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, pain status, diabetes, and reduction in the levels of nitric oxide (NO), and adiponectin. Moreover, in fatigued cases, the expression of both NO and adiponectin was significantly correlated with CIS-fatigue score, physical activity, obesity, and diabetes, which indicates its availability as diagnostic markers for cognition in mature and older adults with fatigue. Conclusion: In the present study, the data concluded that cognitive abilities were significantly associated with the lower expression of adiponectin and NO as endothelial vascular markers in association with fatigue among home-resident older adults. In addition, the reduction in cognition was significantly affected by other parameters, such as diabetes, obesity, and unhealthy sedentary life activities. Moreover, the results might recommend the use of cellular adiponectin and NO as diagnostic indicators of cognitive abilities in fatigued mature and older adults. However, more studies on larger sample sizes are required.
 
The flowchart of the study.
Article
Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between oral habits, psychological status, and temporomandibular-related quality of life among college students. Materials and methods: An online questionnaire was sent to college students who were willing to participate in this anonymous survey, which contained questions about the demographic characteristics of the participants, the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4), the Fonseca Anamnestic Index (FAI), and the Oral Health Impact Profile for temporomandibular disorders (OHIP-TMDs). Results: A total of 505 valid questionnaires were collected from 200 males and 305 females (a mean age of 21.81 ± 2.81 years). The prevalence of oral habits in college students was 58% (294/505). Female gender (odds ratio (OR) 1.786) and having oral habits (OR 1.893) were associated with depression and anxiety. Medical students had significantly less depression and anxiety (OR 0.459) than nonmedical students. The possibility of suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMDs) as evidenced by the OHIP-TMDs score was associated with female gender (OR 1.989) and having oral habits (OR 3.482). Students with oral habits had higher OHIP-TMDs scores. Conclusion: More than half of the college students surveyed had specific oral habits, with a higher prevalence in women than in men. Having oral habits was related to a worse psychological status, higher risk of TMD, and worse temporomandibular-related quality of life.
 
Article
Background: Although there are many pharmacological interventions for adults with osteoarthritis (OA) who do not meet the indications for surgery, side effects and adverse effects cannot be ignored. Physical interventions are known for their effectiveness and safety, and pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) have already been applied to skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis. Objective: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to assess the efficacy of PEMF on the major symptoms of patients with OA compared with efficacy of other interventions. Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating OA patients treated with PEMF and with pain, stiffness, and physical function impairment since 2009 were included. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores were used for assessment. All extracted data were analyzed using RevMan V.5.3. Results: Eleven RCTs consisting of 614 patients were enrolled in this meta-analysis, of which 10 trials comprised knee OA and one comprised hand OA. Compared with the control groups, the PEMF treatment yielded a more favorable output. PEMF alleviated pain (standardized mean differences [SMD] = 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.08-1.34, p = 0.03), improved stiffness (SMD = 1.34, 95% CI: 0.45-2.23,p=0.003), and restored physical function (SMD = 1.52, 95% CI: 0.49-2.55,p=0.004). Conclusions: PEMF therapy ameliorates OA symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and physical function in patients compared to other conservative treatments. There is an urgent need to search for different types of OA in multiple locations.
 
Result of the evaluation of kinesiophobia and maximum isometric strength.
Article
Introduction: Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by progressive wear and tear of the joint, with the knee being the most affected region. These patients have reduced mobility and mobility, among other symptoms. Thus, it is necessary to know the variables that influence the ability to walk. Objective: To analyze how much the gait capacity, in the performance of the six-minute walk test, can be influenced by the maximum isometric strength of the quadriceps or by kinesiophobia in women with knee osteoarthritis. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a sample of 49 women diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The evaluation was carried out in a single moment. Variables studied isometric quadriceps strength, level of fear of movement (kinesiophobia), and ability to walk. Simple linear regression analyzes were performed, with gait ability as the dependent variable and maximum isometric strength and kinesiophobia as independent. Data were presented with mean and standard deviation and were analyzed by the SPSS Statistic 22.0 software, considering p < 0.05 as significant. Results: The maximum isometric strength presents a significant difference, directly interfering with the gait ability; as kinesiophobia does not show a statistically significant difference, it does not directly interfere with the ability to walk. Conclusion: Maximal quadriceps isometric strength directly interferes with gait ability in women with knee osteoarthritis, thus suggesting the inclusion of this strategy in treatment programs for this population.
 
Flowchart of literature screening.
ALE analysis results.
Article
Evidence shows that chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome hugely impacts the body and mind. The central mechanisms in patients with CP/CPPS resulted in increased attention as neuroimaging techniques developed. This review investigated the study design and major neuroimaging findings in CP/CPPS patients to provide comprehensive evidence. Seven databases were searched and screened: PubMed, EMBASE/SCOPUS, Cochrane Library Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP, Wanfang, and China Biology Medicine disc. Nine studies were eventually included in the analysis. The results demonstrate that the insula, anterior cingulate gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and precuneus are significantly associated with CP/CPPS patients’ pain feelings and cause dysregulation of painful emotions, lowering patients’ tolerance to stimulus.
 
CONSORT flow diagram. QLB: quadratus lumborum block.
Pain at rest and during coughing at 48 h after surgery: (a) VRS at rest and (b) NRS during coughing. Data are presented as median and interquartile range at rest or during coughing. The VRS scores were significantly lower at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h after surgery in the QLB group than that in the control group. ∗P<0.05 and ∗∗P<0.001. QLB: quadratus lumborum block.
Pain at rest and during coughing at 48 h after surgery: (a) VRS at rest and (b) NRS during coughing. Data are presented as median and interquartile range at rest or during coughing. The VRS scores were significantly lower at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h after surgery in the QLB group than that in the control group. ∗P<0.05 and ∗∗P<0.001. QLB: quadratus lumborum block.
(a) AUC of pain VRS over time at rest, P<0.001 and (b) AUC of pain VRS over time during coughing, P<0.001. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation. QLB: quadratus lumborum block, AUC: area under the curve, and VRS: verbal rating scale.
(a) AUC of pain VRS over time at rest, P<0.001 and (b) AUC of pain VRS over time during coughing, P<0.001. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation. QLB: quadratus lumborum block, AUC: area under the curve, and VRS: verbal rating scale.
Article
Background: Quadratus lumborum block (QLB) has been used to reduce postoperative acute pain and opioid consumption. However, the efficacy of QLB on the quality of recovery (QoR) after gastrointestinal surgery has not been established. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of QLB to enhance the postoperative QoR in patients undergoing open gastrointestinal surgery. Methods: Eighty-four patients undergoing open gastrointestinal surgery were randomized to receive ultrasound-guided QLB with either 20 ml of 0.375% ropivacaine or saline. The primary outcome was the QoR-15 score at 24 h after surgery. The secondary outcomes were the postoperative pain intensity, opioid consumption, the incidence of nausea, vomiting, and chronic pain. Results: The global QoR-15 score at 24 h postoperatively was significantly higher in the QLB group than in the control group (mean difference: 16.9; 95% CI: 11.9-21.9). Additionally, the QoR-15 scores for five dimensions were significantly higher in the QLB group than in the control group. The cumulative oxycodone consumption was significantly lower in the QLB group during 0-6, 6-24, 0-24, 24-48, and 0-48 h postoperatively than in the control group. At rest or during coughing, the pain verbal rating scale scores were significantly lower at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h after surgery in the QLB group than in the control group. The incidence of postoperative nausea was significantly different between the groups, but postoperative vomiting was not. Conclusion: Single-injection posteromedial QLB with ropivacaine enhanced the QoR at 48 h after surgery and improved analgesia during the early postoperative period in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.
 
Article
Background: The role of ketamine as an adjuvant for morphine in the treatment of cancer pain and immune functions has been confirmed. This study aimed to explore the role of morphine and ketamine on cancer pain and T cells of patients with cervical cancer (CC). Methods: T cells were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of CC patients by positive selection using anti-CD3 beads. The isolated T cells were assigned into three groups: the control group, the morphine group, and the morphine + ketamine (Mor + Ket) group. The percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ were analyzed by flow cytometry. The levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, and IL-17 and the corresponding mRNA expression in vitro were determined using ELISA and qRT-PCR, respectively. Western blotting was used for detection of JAK3/STAT5 pathway-related proteins after naltrexone treatment in vitro. Afterwards, all the patients were further divided into the morphine group and the Mor + Ket group in accordance with the principles of the randomized and double-blind method to assess pain intensity. Results: Our in vivo results showed that drug combinations relieved cancer pain more effectively than morphine intervention. The in vitro results demonstrated that the combination of morphine and ketamine may decrease CD4+ percentage, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and the levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-17 via the JAK3/STAT5 pathway. Conclusions: Our finding indicated that morphine-ketamine combination could improve cancer pain and repress immune function via the JAK3/STAT5 pathway in the progression of CC.
 
Article
Objective: The study aimed to determine the prevalence and severity of chronic pain and its associations amongst psychiatric out-patients in a tertiary care hospital in Singapore. Methodology. The cross-sectional study was conducted among 290 psychiatric out-patients aged 21-65 years. Sociodemographic and clinical information, as well as data from Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-sf), Beck's Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), and Beck's Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were collected. Cut points (C.P.s) dividing the sample into mild, moderate, and severe groups were created for the ratings of average pain. Eight possible cut-off values for the C.P.s between 3 and 7, representing 8 different categorical variables, were created and their relationships were examined with BPI's set of seven interference items using multivariate analysis of variance. Sociodemographic and clinical correlates of chronic pain were determined using multinomial logistic regression analysis. Analysis of covariance was used to determine the association of BPI with continuous scores of BAI and BDI. Results: Based on the C.P. pain severity classification, 38.5% of the sample had mild pain, 22.9% had moderate pain, and 11.8% had severe pain. Patients with severe pain were more likely to be associated with older age (p ≤ 0.006) (versus young age), less likely to be married (p ≤ 0.025) (versus single), and more likely to have high risk for obesity (p ≤ 0.030) (versus low risk for obesity). Participants with mild pain were seen to be significantly associated with older age (p ≤ 0.021), whereas moderate pain (p ≤ 0.002) and severe pain (p ≤ 0.001) (versus no pain) were seen to be significantly associated with higher BAI scores. Conclusion: The current study observed high prevalence of pain among patients with psychiatric illness that was determined by optimal C.P.s for mild, moderate, and severe pain. Patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders and those with higher BMI were seen to be associated with pain of moderate to severe intensity. Improving the knowledge of correlates and co-morbidities of physical pain would aid in early identification, use of prophylactic strategies, and the intervention techniques to formulate basic guidelines for pain management among psychiatric population.
 
The flowchart of participants’ screening.
Article
Objective: This study aimed to conduct a retrospective observational study to understand the status of characteristics of pain and identify potential variables influencing the clinical presentation of breakthrough cancer pain (BTP) in advanced cancer patients. Methods: Advanced cancer patients over 18 years of age; diagnosed with cancer of any type and stage III or IV in the palliative care ward with available data were enrolled between 2018 and 2020. Demographic data and pain-related information were collected by using structured electronic extraction form from Hospital Information System (HIS). Patients who had well-controlled background pain with an intensity ≤4 on a 0-10 numerical scale for >12 hours/day, the presence of transient exacerbations of pain with moderate-severe intensity (≧5), and clearly distinguish from background pain were regarded to have suffered BTP. Spearman correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between pain score and demographics characteristics. Factors significant in univariate analysis were included in the multiple regression model to explore independent predictive factors associated with the BTP. Results: Of 798 advanced cancer patients, the mean age was 56.7 (SD = 11.84) years. Lung cancer (29.95%) was the most common cancer, and pain (93%) was the most common symptom. More than half (n = 428, 53.6%) of the patients experienced BTP. The median number of BTP episodes was 4 (IQR = 2, 7, range: 1-42). The median intensity of BTP was 6 (IQR = 6, 7, range 5-10). Patients with severe background pain or BTP had longer hospital stay and more symptoms. Besides, more severe background pain was related to higher activity of daily living. Intramuscular injection of hydromorphone hydrochloride was the main medication for BTP onset. Younger age, background pain, anorexia, and constipation were independently associated with the presentation of BTP. BTP pain intensity was independently associated with bloating. Symptom numbers were an independent factor and positively associated with BTP episodes. Conclusions: BTP resulted in poor prognosis, which has a variable presentation depending on interdependent relationships among different characteristics. Good controlling of background pain and assessment of pain-related symptoms are essential for BTP management. BTP should be managed individually, especially the invisible pain among aged patients. Furthermore, BTP-related education and training were still needed.
 
Article
Objectives: Research has pointed to two profiles of persons with fibromyalgia according to differences in functionality, thus distinguishing between functional and dysfunctional patients. The role of psychological factors underlying such clusters is unclear. This study aims to explore the contribution of pain beliefs and coping on fibromyalgia clustering. Methods: A cluster analysis was performed to classify 238 women with fibromyalgia using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory as clustering variables. Cluster differences in physical functioning, depression, pain beliefs, coping, and age were then calculated (Student's t-test). Finally, a binary logistic regression was conducted to study the unique contribution of age, beliefs, and coping on cluster classification. Results: Two clusters were revealed. Cluster 1 had a poor adaptation to fibromyalgia regarding physical functioning and depression. They generally embraced less adaptive beliefs (i.e., disability, harm, emotion, and requests) and coping strategies (i.e., guarding, resting, and asking for assistance). Cluster 2 showed a better adaptation to fibromyalgia and adopted more favorable beliefs (i.e., control) and coping strategies (i.e., exercise and task persistence). Cluster differences in age were significant but small. The backward binary logistic regression suggested a final model with six predictors (guarding, task persistence, harm, emotion, solicitude, and age) that explained 31% of the variance of group membership. Discussion. These results suggest that only a subset of psychological variables uniquely and independently contribute to functional/dysfunctional group membership. The results support the need to address psychological components in the management of fibromyalgia and point to a subset of preferred target beliefs and coping strategies.
 
Article
Objective: This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) in treating post-operative pain. Methods: This meta-analysis was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021286753). We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) about TEAS in treating postoperative pain that were published before November 2021. The primary outcome was visual analogue scale (VAS) within 24 h after surgery. The secondary outcomes included postoperative opioid analgesic drug consumption and the occurrence of adverse reactions within the postoperative 24-72 h. Adverse reactions included dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Continuous variables were analyzed using mean difference (MDs) or standardized mean difference (SMDs) and 95% CIs. Relative risk (RR) and 95% CI were used for dichotomous data. The data were pooled and analyzed by RevMan 5.4 and STATA15.0 software. Results: Seventeen trials with 1375 participants were included. The current results suggested that application of TEAS showed obvious superiority in reducing VAS scores (SMD = -1.51, 95% CI = -2.20∼-0.82, I2 = 96%). Subgroup analysis was performed according to open surgery and minimally invasive surgery. VAS scores were decreased after surgery at 24 h (SMD = -0.84, 95% CI = -1.07∼-0.6, I2 = 96%; SMD = -0.88, 95% CI = -1.02∼-0.75, I2 = 96%). The incidence of postoperative dizziness and nausea and vomiting was significantly lower in the TEAS group within postoperative 24-72 h (RR = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.34∼0.68, I2 = 0%; RR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.44∼1.01, I2 = 69%; and RR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.24∼1.00, I2 = 51%). Postoperative opioid analgesics were also reduced in the TEAS group within 72 h after surgery (SMD = -2.10, 95% CI = -3.37∼-0.82, I2 = 96%). Conclusions: TEAS can reduce postoperative pain as well as the incidence of dizziness, nausea, and vomiting and the number of analgesics used after surgery. TEAS is a reasonable modality to incorporate into a multimodal management approach for postoperative pain.
 
Flow diagram of included patients.
Article
We aimed to investigate whether the use of intravenous paracetamol (IVP) preoperatively in intertrochanteric fracture (IF) patients aged 65 years or over receiving intramedullary fixation had significantly benefits on the pain score at discharge, delirium incidence, length of hospital stay (LOS), functional outcomes, and mortality. A retrospective analysis of all surgically treated patients presenting with IF was conducted at a single Level I trauma center in China between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2020. The data concerning patients’ demographics, injury-related data, surgery-related data, operation-related data, in-hospital data, and postoperative outcomes were extracted. To minimize potential confounding and selection bias, the propensity score matching (PSM) method was performed via the caliper matching method by using a 1 : 1 ratio. After PSM, McNemar’s chi-square tests were used to examine the association of using IVP with outcome analyses. The Spearman correlations of IVP using, pain scores, and the factors which may influence them were also computed. After screening 2963 consecutive patients, 2166 were included finally, including 1576 in the non-IVP group and 590 in the IVP group. After PSM, 531 remained in each group. The pain scores at discharge were significantly between the two groups before and after matching (all p < 0.001 ). The differences of delirium rate and functional outcomes became significant after propensity score-based matching ( p = 0.001 and 0.033, respectively), although they were not significant before matching. No significant difference was observed in other operation-related data, LOS, and crude mortality rates at 30-day, 90-day, and 12-month before and after PSM. In conclusion, this study highlights the need for preoperative IVP use to optimize pain control, postoperative functional recovery, and minimize pain-related comorbidities such as delirium in elderly patients with hip fracture.
 
Article
Objective: Under the guidance of a digital subtraction angiography (DSA) machine, via fluoroscopic imaging techniques, patients diagnosed with herpes zoster neuralgia at the subacute stage, where self-reported pain lasts between 30 and 90 days, were treated with nerve pulsed radiofrequency surgery combined with intravenous lidocaine infusion or saline infusion as control. This study explores the clinical efficacy, safety, and clinical value of the combined treatment compared with nerve pulsed radiofrequency surgery alone. Methods: In this study, 72 patients diagnosed with herpes zoster neuralgia at the subacute stage were randomly divided into two groups with matched gender, age, and clinical symptoms. Both groups received pulsed radiofrequency surgery for the affected nerve segments under DSA fluoroscopy. Five days after the operation, 0.9% saline was administered daily for five consecutive days (50 ml per day, intravenous infusion) to group A (n = 36), and lidocaine was administered daily for five consecutive days (3 mg per kg per day, intravenous infusion) to group B (n = 36). Patients with poor pain control during the treatment were given 10 mg morphine tablets for pain relief to reach visual analog scale (VAS) ≤4 points. Data of the following categories were collected: VAS score, self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) score, depression self-rating scale (SDS) score, Pittsburgh sleep quality score (PSQI), 45 body area rating scale score, skin temperature measurement using infrared thermography, analgesic drug use before and after treatment at six different time points: before surgery (T 0), one day after surgery (T 1), three days after surgery (T 2), five days after surgery (T 3), one month after surgery (T 4), and two months after surgery (T 5). Blood was collected from all patients in the morning before surgery and right after the last intravenous infusion of lidocaine at T 3. Serum inflammatory indexes including white blood cell count, lymphocyte count, neutrophils count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate count, C-reactive protein (CRP) level, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) level, and interleukin-6(IL-6) level were determined. Lastly, the incidence of complications and adverse reactions throughout the study was recorded. Results: In total, 64 out of 72 patients completed the whole study. Two patients met the exclusion criteria in group A, one patient refused to participate, and one was lost to follow-up. Two patients met the exclusion criteria in group B, and two were lost to follow-up. Three patients in group B experienced vomiting during lidocaine treatment. The adverse symptom was relieved after symptomatic treatment. No patients in the two groups had severe complications such as hematoma at the puncture site, pneumothorax, and nerve injury. Compared with before treatment, the mean of VAS score, SAS score, SDS score, PSQI score, and skin temperature of both groups at each time point after interventional surgery were all significantly reduced. Furthermore, at each time point after surgery, the above indicators of group B patients were significantly lower than those of group A patients. After treatment, the consumption of analgesics in both groups was significantly lower than before treatment. Compared with group A, the consumption of analgesics was also significantly lower in group B. In addition, serum inflammatory indexes at the T 3 time point of the two groups of patients were lower than T 0. Among them, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CRP level, CGRP level, and interleukin-6 level of group B were significantly lower than those of group A. The incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in group B patients (6.25%) was also lower than that in group A patients (25%). Conclusion: DSA-guided nerve pulse radiofrequency surgery combined with intravenous lidocaine infusion can effectively relieve pain in patients diagnosed with herpes zoster nerves at the subacute stage, reduce the number of analgesic drugs used in patients, reduce postherpetic neuralgia incidence rate, and improve sleep and quality of life.
 
Article
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is closely related to osmolarity, which fluctuates with daily activities, and hyperosmolarity may be a contributor to nucleus pulposus (NP) cells apoptosis. Aquaporin-3 (AQP-3) belongs to the family of aquaporins and mainly transports water and other small molecular proteins, which is reduced with the aging of the intervertebral disc. ERK1/2 pathway is one type of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and is associated with cellular apoptosis. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of AQP-3 on NP cells apoptosis induced by a hyperosmolarity and focused on the role of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. We found that NP apoptosis could be induced by hyperosmolarity (550 mOsm/kg), and downregulation of AQP-3 and inhibition of ERK1/2 could be simultaneously observed. Therefore, lentivirus was used to enhance the expression of AQP-3 to compare apoptosis between AQP-3-overexpressed NP cells and the control NP cells. The results showed that apoptosis could be alleviated by overexpression of AQP-3 and the activity of ERK1/2 could also be promoted. Furthermore, we found that the inhibitor U0126 could partly aggravate apoptosis of the AQP-3-overexpressed NP cells. In summary, our results suggested that overexpression of AQP-3 could protect against hyperosmolarity-induced NP cell apoptosis via promoting the activity of the ERK1/2 pathway. This study may shed light on a better understanding of the pathologic mechanism of IDD and bring AQP-3 into the therapeutic approaches for IDD treatment.
 
Significant networks in the chronic pain-connectivity moderation analysis of the R2R rsFC when testing the PAIN_GROUP × PSQI interaction. Connections are represented by lines. The PAIN_GROUP × PSQI interaction was negative in all connections. The network formed by all eleven connections survived the TFNBS for the S-SP ROI configuration. The network formed by the blue solid and red connections survived the TFNBS for the SP-SP ROI configuration. The network formed by the red connections survived the TFNBS for the SP-A ROI configuration. The network formed by the solid red lines survived the TFNBS (marginally: left-tailed) for the S-A ROI configuration. The individual connection represented by the thicker red line was significant for all ROI configurations (p<0.05, FDR corrected). The nodes of these networks are ROIs of the Harvard-Oxford AAL atlas. To clarify their anatomical extent, cortical ROIs are shown projected onto a semi-inflated white matter surface and subcortical ROIs are represented in the medial view of this surface. Pu = putamen. Cau = caudate. SMA = juxtapositional lobule cortex. PreCG = precentral gyrus. PostCG = postcentral gyrus.
Scatter plot of the rsFC values of the eleven connections that survived the TFNBS in the R2R connectivity analyses (when testing the PAIN_GROUP × PSQI interaction with the S-S ROI configuration) versus PSQI. The values of functional connectivity were adjusted by removing the demeaned residuals explained by age and sex. Thus, for each group (i.e., no-pain and chronic pain) the adjusted fitted rsFC lie in a straight line that represents the slope of the rsFC-PSQI dependency within the group. The negative PAIN_GROUP × PSQI interaction is explained by a change in slope from positive to negative when switching from the no-pain to the chronic pain group. For each connection, the Cohen’s f² local effect size index is shown, that is, the proportion of variance explained by the PAIN_GROUP × PSQI interaction divided by the residual variance. All effects were medium (0.15 ≤ f² < 0.35) or large (f² ≥ 0.35) [65]. Pu = putamen. Cau = caudate. SMA = juxtapositional lobule cortex. PreCG = precentral gyrus. PostCG = postcentral gyrus. R = right. L = left.
Article
Aging is associated with poor sleep quality and greater chronic pain prevalence, with age-related changes in brain function as potential underlying mechanisms. Objective. The following cross-sectional study aimed to determine whether self-reported chronic musculoskeletal pain in community-dwelling older adults moderates the association between sleep quality and resting state functional brain connectivity (rsFC). Methods. Community-dwelling older individuals (mean age = 73.29 years) part of the NEPAL study who completed the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a rsFC scan were included (n = 48) in the present investigation. To that end, we tested the effect of chronic pain-by-PSQI interaction on rsFC among atlas-based brain regions-of-interest, controlling for age and sex. Results and Discussion. A significant network connecting the bilateral putamen and left caudate with bilateral precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and juxtapositional lobule cortex, survived global multiple comparisons (FDR; q < 0.05) and threshold-free network-based-statistics. Greater PSQI scores were significantly associated with greater dorsostriatal-sensorimotor rsFC in the no-pain group, suggesting that a state of somatomotor hyperarousal may be associated with poorer sleep quality in this group. However, in the pain group, greater PSQI scores were associated with less dorsostriatal-sensorimotor rsFC, possibly due to a shift of striatal functions toward regulation sensorimotor aspects of the pain experience, and/or aberrant cortico-striatal loops in the presence of chronic pain. This preliminary investigation advances knowledge about the neurobiology underlying the associations between chronic pain and sleep in community-dwelling older adults that may contribute to the development of effective therapies to decrease disability in geriatric populations.
 
The PRISMA flowchart of the study selection process.
Article
Background: Migraine is one of the most common types of headache, and it is the second most common cause of neurological disorders, with an annual prevalence of about 15% of the population. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of BoNT-A on the duration and intensity of migraine attacks. In addition, we investigated the effective injection sites. Methods: According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched online databases, including Web of Science, PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, ProQuest, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Google Scholar from 2011 to 2021. Results: A total of 24 articles were included in the study. The use of BoNT-A in individuals suffering from chronic migraine (CM) decreases the frequency of migraine attacks per month, pain intensity, medication use, emergency visits, and migraine-related disabilities. The BoNT-A was well tolerated and leads to improved performance and better quality of life (QoL). Overall, treatment with BoNT-A in adults with CM is beneficial. In addition, the use of BoNT-A in individuals with vestibular migraine (VM) reduces the frequency of migraines and brings about the improvement of disability status caused by migraine headaches. Meanwhile, the use of BoNT-A reduces the frequency of migraine attacks per month among individuals with chronic refractory migraine (CRM). Conclusions: The use of BoNT-A is a low-cost option for the treatment of various kinds of migraines, including chronic, episodic, unilateral, and vestibular types. BoNT-A can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks per month and diminish the severity of pain.
 
Article
Objective: Although low-dose ketamine has been shown to be generally beneficial in terms of pain control in a variety of major surgery, there is no consensus regarding the effectiveness of supplemental ketamine analgesic use exclusively in spine surgery. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was to assess the efficacy and safety of perioperative low-dose ketamine for pain management and analgesic consumption in patients undergoing spine surgery. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed for relevant studies using PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. Patients who received perioperative low-dose ketamine were compared to the control group in terms of postoperative pain intensity, opioid consumption, and adverse events. Patients were further categorized by ages and administration times for subgroup analysis. Results: A total of 30 RCTs comprising 1,865 patients undergoing elective spine surgery were included. Significantly lower pain intensity and less opioid consumption at 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h postoperatively and lower incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were observed in the ketamine group (all P < 0.05). There was no significant difference of central nervous system (CNS) adverse events between groups. However, different efficacy of low-dose ketamine was detected when patients were categorized by ages and administration times. Conclusion: Perioperative low-dose ketamine demonstrated analgesic and morphine-sparing effect with no increased adverse events after spine surgery. However, this effect was not significant in pediatric patients. Only postoperative or intraoperative and postoperative administration could prolong the analgesic time up to 48 h postoperatively. Further studies should focus on the optimal protocol of ketamine administration and its effect on old age participants.
 
Article
Objectives: To compare the viability of the numerical rating scale (NRS) and the visual analogue scale (VAS) as a pain assessment tools among a large cohort of patients who underwent microdiscectomy. Summary of Background Data. The pain intensity (PI) reduction is a parameter of surgical treatment efficacy. The two most commonly used scales of PI are NRS and VAS. Many studies have shown strong similarities between those two scales, but the direct interchange is difficult. Methods: Patients, who underwent microdiscectomy, were prospectively enrolled into the study and assessed using VAS and NRS for the back (NRS-B) and the leg (NRS-L), Short Form of McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) included Pain Rating Index (PRI) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) 1 day before and 1 month and 3 months after the procedure. Results: 131 patients were included in the study. NRS-L, NRS-B, VAS, and ODI were significantly lower (p < 0.001) 1 month after microdiscectomy. NRS-L and NRS-B ratings remained at a similar level while VAS and ODI decreased after 3 months. The rate of decline of PI measured by NRS-L correlated statistically significant (rs = 0.366; p < 0.001) with ODI 1 month after surgery. Before surgery, the most significant correlation was found between ODI and NRS-L (rs = 0.494; p < 0.001), the lowest with NRS-B (rs = 0.319; p < 0.001). 3 months after surgery, there was higher correlations between ODI and VAS (rs = 0.634) than NRS-L (rs = 0.265). PRI correlated significantly (p < 0.001) and more stronger with VAS than with NRS-L and NRS-B in every points of assessment. Conclusion: The results showed that PI measurements by NRS-L/NRS-B and VAS mutually correlate and impair functionality evaluated by ODI (convergent validity) but in different modes (differential validity). NRS and VAS are not parallel scales and assess different aspects of pain. The measurement of NRS-L 1 month after microdiscectomy seems to give quick insight into the effectiveness of the procedure.
 
The flow diagram of the study patients’ selection.
Article
Purpose: The opioid crisis amplified the concern for the appropriate use of opioids. Our study aims to investigate the pain levels and amount of opiates needed during the first three days following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), whereby Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule II oral opiates are not available. Methods: A year-long retrospective review of adult patients who underwent TKA was conducted. The postoperative pain scores and mean morphine equivalents (MME) were measured. These outcomes were assessed according to demographics, anesthesia, and analgesia used. Results: For our 78 patients, there was no statistical difference for stratification by baseline characteristics except in spinal anesthesia, which decreased pain on the first day. Conversely, MME increased to its significantly highest of 14.22 ± 29.58 mg on day 3. The effect was noted for patient-controlled analgesia where patients with intravenous analgesia received less opioid than those on epidural analgesia on postoperative day one. Conclusions: Using a similar regimen of analgesia, postoperative pain following TKA would be controlled by a relatively low amount of opioids by the third postoperative day. Spinal anesthesia and patient-controlled epidural analgesia were linked to better pain control and less opioid needed.
 
Article
Purpose: Hemophilic osteoarthropathy (HO) is a common cause of spontaneous bleeding in hemophiliacs. Surgical procedures are necessary for patients with severe HO. As a last resort, amputation is sometimes needed to treat complex HO cases. This study aimed to review the existing records of patients who underwent amputations in HO surgical treatment, summarize the risk factors, and provide relevant references for surgeons. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of hemophilic patients received surgeries at Peking Union Medical College Hospital between 2000 and 2020. The amputation patients without neoplasm or acute trauma were screened out. Patient information was extracted from medical records. A literature retrieval of hemophilic amputation cases was conducted via PubMed. The risk factors of amputation were summarized and analyzed via descriptive statistics and Fisher's precision probability test. Results: Four male hemophilia A patients out of 201 patients underwent lower limb amputation. The reasons of amputation contained severe pseudotumor with factor inhibitor and large bone defects, recurrent pathological fracture with pseudotumor, skin ulcer with chronic osteomyelitis, and pseudotumor with systematic infection. In cases reported in retrieved literature, severe pseudotumor with complications, bacterial infection and factor inhibitor were common factors. Discussion. As the first study on amputations in HO patients, we found that severe hemophilic pseudotumor, chronic bacterial infection, and coagulation factor inhibitor was potential risk factors for amputation. Sufficient factor replacement therapy is fundamental in the prevention of amputation. The early diagnosis and specially designed surgical techniques could improve the rate of limb salvage.
 
Illustration showing the pathway via which MSCs influence NPCy at the microenvironment leading to repair of IVDD. Factors such as TGF-β, GDF-5 and 6, BMP-7, PDGF, IGF-1, and βFGF are responsible for the differentiation of MSCs towards NPC-like cells. Also, acidity and osmolarity via diverse signaling pathways are key factors influencing the MSCs/NPC phenotype.
Illustration showing the various microenvironment clues and the pathways via which MSCs influence the repair of IVDD. MSCs influence osmolarity, apoptosis, glucose, pH, hypoxia, and pyroptosis via diverse signaling pathways contributing to the regeneration of intervertebral disc.
Article
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is one of the main triggers of low back pain, which is most often associated with patient morbidity and high medical costs. IVDD triggers a wide range of pathologies and clinical syndromes like paresthesia, weakness of extremities, and intermittent/chronic back pain. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have demonstrated to possess immunomodulatory functions as well as the capability of differentiating into chondrocytes under appropriate microenvironment conditions, which makes them potentially epitome for intervertebral disc (IVD) regeneration. *e IVD microenvironment is composed by niche of cells, and their chemical and physical milieus have been exhibited to have robust influence on MSC behavior as well as differentiation. Nevertheless, the contribution of MSCs to the IVD milieu conditions in healthy as well as degeneration situations is still a matter of debate. It is still not clear which factors, if any, are essential for effective and efficient MSC survival, proliferation, and differentiation. IVD microenvironment clues such as nucleopulpocytes, potential of hydrogen (pH), osmotic changes, glucose, hypoxia, apoptosis, pyroptosis, and hydrogels are capable of influencing the MSCs aimed for the treatment ofIVDD. Therefore, clinical usage of MSCs ought to take into consideration these microenvironment clues during treatment.Alteration in these factors could function as prognostic indicators during the treatment of patients with IVDD using MSCs. Thus, standardized valves for these microenvironment clues are warranted.
 
Journal metrics
12 days
Submission to first decision
66 days
Submission to final decision
18 days
Acceptance to publication
24%
Acceptance rate
$2,300
APC
2.667 (2021)
Journal Impact Factor™
4 (2021)
CiteScore
Top-cited authors
Jennifer Stinson
Allen Finley
  • Dalhousie University
Allan Gordon
  • University of Toronto
Mark A Ware
  • McGill University
Hance Clarke
  • University Health Network