Psychological Features Impact Myofascial Paraspinous Pain Treatment

HealthDay News — For patients with chronic myofascial paraspinous pain, psychological characteristics, especially anxiety, influence response to interventional pain management, according to a study published in Pain Medicine.

Gerard M. Healy, PhD, from the National University of Ireland in Galway, and colleagues examined the psychosocial profile of 71 patients with a diagnosis of chronic myofascial pain of the paraspinous muscles who responded or did not respond to trigger point injection. Patients completed a pretreatment sociodemographic questionnaire and validated scales to assess pain intensity, interference, and defined psychological characteristics.

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Trigger point therapy of the affected areas was performed; treatment outcome was assessed by telephone follow-up at one week (65 patients) and one month (63 patients) after the intervention.

Using pain-related physical interference as the outcome measure, the researchers found that those who responded well to treatment at one week and one month follow-up were characterized by a lower level of pretreatment anxiety and a higher level of pain acceptance. Anxiety was the strongest predictor of outcome.

“These results suggest that responses to interventional pain management in chronic myofascial paraspinous pain may be influenced by psychological characteristics, especially pretreatment anxiety,” the authors wrote.


 1. Healy G et al. Pain. 2015; doi: 10.1111/pme.12781.