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Lecture by Dr. Jonas Tesarz

From local to widespread pain: On the heterogeneity of chronic back pain patients


07.03.2019 kl. 14.00 - 15.00


Research areas

Pain and pain treatment in high performance athletes
Pain of the musculoskeletal system
Biopsychosocial aspects of pain and pain chronification
Eye-Movement-Desensititzation-Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of chronic pain
Influence of stress and mental trauma on central pain modulation


Patients with low back pain represent a major group of individuals suffering musculoskeletal pain. However, chronic back pain patients are heterogeneous and comprise patients with pain strictly located in the back as well as patients with further pain in large parts of the body. However, different subgroups of chronic back pain patients might be associated with different pathogenetic mechanisms. In this presentation, it will be demonstrated that back pain patients vary widely in terms of their pain spread. Studies on pain extent in chronic back pain patients show that less than one fifth of them suffer strictly from chronic local back pain, while the majority indicates additional pain regions. This challenges the concept of chronic back pain as a distinct entity. Novel findings on the somatosensory profiling among different groups of back pain patients will be presented and potential pathogenetic mechanisms will be discussed. It will be shown that the spatial pain extent is a key feature that may indicate not only dysfunction in conditioned pain modulation and an increased level of emotional stress, but also increased cardiovascular mortality.

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