Wednesday, September 21st
2:00pm-3:15pm EDT


Plenary Lecture | Virtual Program


Plenary Room Level 800

Mechanisms and Manifestations in Musculoskeletal Pain – From Experimental to Clinical Pain Settings

Musculoskeletal pain is extremely frequent, a major socio-economic burden, and contemporary treatment is inadequate. Acute musculoskeletal pain presents with localised and referred pain as well as localised deep-tissue hyperalgesia, whereas chronic pain often presents with expanded pain areas and widespread hyperalgesia. The mechanistic interplay in the transition from acute to chronic musculoskeletal pain is unclear. Insights can be gained from human mechanistic pain biomarkers combined with experimental human musculoskeletal pain models prolonged for several days. Deep-tissue has the capacity to nociceptively provoke local and/or referred pain and localised hyperalgesia. Referred pain areas expand with prolonged pain. Temporal summation of deep-tissue pain (a pro-nociceptive spinal mechanism) is facilitated in persistent musculoskeletal pain and may partly predict pain sensitivity in long-term pain models. Anti-nociceptive mechanisms governed by descending inhibitory controls is intriguing as an impairment may explain widespread hyperalgesia. Nonetheless, conditioning pain modulation (an anti-nociceptive mechanism) in experimental pain models and chronic musculoskeletal pain have demonstrated impaired efficacy with inconsistency. Studies of the brain circuitry in musculoskeletal pain have generally demonstrated reorganisation/neuroplastic manifestations in chronic conditions, and experimental pain studies show cortical adaptations. Overall, a hypothesized trait of the musculoskeletal pain system being more vulnerable to persistent pain will be presented.

This Session is Available in Virtual Congress


Prof. Thomas Graven-Nielsen

Professor and Director
Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), Aalborg University