Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 161 (2), 388-404

Assessing Peripheral Fibers, Pain Sensitivity, Central Sensitization, and Descending Inhibition in Native Americans: Main Findings From the Oklahoma Study of Native American Pain Risk

Affiliations

Assessing Peripheral Fibers, Pain Sensitivity, Central Sensitization, and Descending Inhibition in Native Americans: Main Findings From the Oklahoma Study of Native American Pain Risk

Jamie L Rhudy et al. Pain.

Abstract

Native Americans (NAs) have a higher prevalence of chronic pain than other U.S. racial/ethnic groups, but there have been few attempts to understand the mechanisms of this pain disparity. This study used a comprehensive battery of laboratory tasks to assess peripheral fiber function (cool/warm detection thresholds), pain sensitivity (eg, thresholds/tolerances), central sensitization (eg, temporal summation), and pain inhibition (conditioned pain modulation) in healthy, pain-free adults (N = 155 NAs, N = 150 non-Hispanic Whites [NHWs]). Multiple pain stimulus modalities were used (eg, cold, heat, pressure, ischemic, and electric), and subjective (eg, pain ratings and pain tolerance) and physiological (eg, nociceptive flexion reflex) outcomes were measured. There were no group differences on any measure, except that NAs had lower cold-pressor pain thresholds and tolerances, indicating greater pain sensitivity than NHWs. These findings suggest that there are no group differences between healthy NAs and NHWs on peripheral fiber function, central sensitization, or central pain inhibition, but NAs may have greater sensitivity to cold pain. Future studies are needed to examine potential within-group factors that might contribute to NA pain risk.

Conflict of interest statement

COI/previous presentations:Aspects of this research have been presented at the International Association for the Study of Pain’s 2018 World Congress on Pain and at the 2019 American Pain Society conference. The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback