A new study has found that reporting pain distribution on a map can help classify patients into subgroups that are linked to differences in pain impact, pain quality, pain intensity and clinically relevant outcomes. The study’s findings were published in the “Plos One” journal.
Normally, the distribution of chronic pain across an individual’s body is used together with other symptoms and signs to diagnose and treat patients. Recent research on fibromyalgia shows that pain syndromes that are typically viewed as separate entities may share relevant features, particularly regarding the influence of the distribution of pain on outcomes.
For their study, the researchers conducted an analysis of data gathered from more than 21,000 patients who were treated at various University of Pittsburgh pain-management clinics in the 2016–19 period. Each patient completed a pain body map, which involved selecting areas of pain on side-by-side drawings of the back and front of the body, with more than 70 potential pain regions.
Of the total number of patients, a few stats are worth noting: 10% had at least one comorbidity, about 21% were insured by Medicaid, 60% of the group were female, and more than 80% were Caucasian. Data from the patients also showed nine clear groupings of pain distribution, with researchers noting that neuropathic pain quality, pain impact, pain intensity, medical and demographic characteristics varied across the subgroups. For example, the pain intensity of the shoulder and neck group was lower than that of the lower back, shoulder and neck pain group.
The researchers note that the group with the highest pain intensity was made up of patients with widespread pain who were also linked to high sleep disturbance, high depression and anxiety and low physical function.
The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, led by Benedict Alter, discovered these groups helped forecast the likelihood of improvement in physical function and pain, noting that patients in the lower back, shoulder and neck pain were the least improved as only 36% reported improvements. The most improved subgroup was the abdominal pain group, which had almost 50% of the patients reporting significant improvements.
The researchers also discovered that how patients reported the distribution of their pain impacted almost every aspect of the pain experience, which highlights the fact that chronic pain was a disease process. They concluded that classifying patients by pain distribution would be important in personalized pain management and diagnosis in the future. This is the first time patterns of pain distribution are being examined as predictors of pain outcomes or characteristics.
These findings come at a time when a number companies, including Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF), are working to develop psychedelics-based formulations for the treatment of various pain indications such as chronic pain and fibromyalgia.
NOTE TO INVESTORS:The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TRYPF
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