EEG signatures of low back and knee joint pain during movement execution: a short report

Sabata Gervasio, Ali Asghar Zarei, Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting

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Abstract

Chronic musculoskeletal pain has a high prevalence between European citizens, affecting their quality of life and their ability to work. The plastic changes associated with the occurrence of chronic musculoskeletal pain are still not fully understood. The current short report investigated the possible changes in brain activity caused by pain during movement in two of the most common musculoskeletal pain disorders in Denmark, knee pain and low back pain. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded from 20 participants (5 participants with knee pain, 5 with low back pain and 10 healthy controls). Participants with pain performed a movement that evoked pain in the area of interest, and the healthy controls performed the same movement. Electromyographic (EMG) signals were also collected to identify movement initiation. No differences were observed in brain activity of participants with pain and healthy controls during rest. During movement execution, though, participants with pain showed significantly higher event related synchronization in the alpha and beta bands compared to healthy controls. These changes could be related to higher cognitive processing, possibly due to the attempt of suppressing the pain. These results highlight the importance of assessing cortical activity during movement to reveal plastic changes due to musculoskeletal pain. This adds to our knowledge regarding plastic changes in cortical activity related to musculoskeletal pain in different locations. Such knowledge could help us identify neurophysiological markers for clinical changes and contribute to the development of new treatment approaches based on neuromodulation such as neurofeedback.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer1216069
TidsskriftFrontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences
Vol/bind4
Antal sider9
ISSN2673-6861
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 16 aug. 2023

Bibliografisk note

© 2023 Gervasio, Zarei and Mrachacz-Kersting.

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