Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2023 , Vol 69 , Num 1

Central sensitization in osteoarthritic knee pain: A cross-sectional study

Hamide Özge Kılıçaslan 1 ,Aysun Genç 1 ,Safiye Tuncer 1
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2023.10470 Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate central sensitization and associated factors in knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and compare them with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and healthy controls.

Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 125 participants (7 males, 118 females; mean age: 57.2±8.2 years; range, 45 to 75 years) between January 2017 and December 2018. Sixty-two patients with symptomatic knee OA, 32 RA patients with knee pain, and 31 healthy controls constituted the participants. Central sensitization was investigated with the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) measurements. Pain, functional status, and psychosocial features were assessed with self-reported questionnaires.

Results: The OA and RA groups had significantly lower PPT values at local, peripheral, and remote regions compared to the healthy controls. Pressure hyperalgesia was shown at the knee with a 43.5% prevalence, 27.4% at the leg, and 8.1% at the forearm of OA patients. Pressure hyperalgesia was present at the knee, leg, and forearm in 37.5%, 25%, and 9.4% of RA patients, respectively. Pressure pain threshold values, CSI scores, frequency of pressure hyperalgesia, and frequency of central sensitization according to the CSI were not statistically different between the OA and RA groups. Psychosocial features and structural damage were not correlated with PPT values in the OA group.

Conclusion: The severity of chronic pain and functional status may be the clinical clues to recognizing patients with central sensitization since local joint damage does not play a direct role in the etiopathogenesis of central sensitization in OA patients and severe pain persisting in the chronic process is associated with central sensitization regardless of the pathogenesis. Keywords : Central sensitizisation, knee osteoarthritis, pressure pain threshold, rheumatoid arthritis