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An exploratory investigation into the longevity of pain reduction following multisensory illusions designed to alter body perception

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journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2020, 13:29 authored by Catherine Preston, Helen R Gilpin, Roger NewportRoger Newport
© 2019 Background: Previous research suggests that multisensory body illusions that alter the conscious bodily experience can modulate pain in osteoarthritis, which may be a result of modifying cortical misrepresentations of the painful body part. However, the longevity and underlying mechanisms of such illusion-induced analgesia is unknown. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of body illusions, specifically examining the longevity of pain relief and effects on subjective joint flexibility. We also aimed to test if illusory-induced analgesia was due to limb disownership, which is also thought to be affected by body illusions. Method: Multisensory stretch and shrink illusions were used to manipulate mental representations in hand osteoarthritis. Experiment 1 examined longevity of analgesia by comparing pre-illusion pain ratings with post-illusion ratings taken immediately and over a period of four minutes both with and without vision of the manipulated limb. Experiment 2 compared changes in subjective flexibility between the illusion types. Experiment 3 tested whether an illusion that induced a temporary experience of hand loss would indicate limb disownership as a mechanism for modulating pain during body illusions. Results: Illusion-induced analgesia was found to outlast the direct application of both shrink and stretch illusions. Illusory stretching provided more clinically significant pain reduction along with increased subjective flexibility. Disownership of the limb had no effect on pain ratings. Conclusions: Illusory stretching of the joints in osteoarthritis may have significant clinical potential in development of future pain treatments. The results are also compatible with theories of cortical involvement of pain in osteoarthritis.

Funding

Dunhill Medical Trust, UK (Serendipity Award SA13/0211)

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Musculoskeletal Science and Practice

Volume

45

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Musculoskeletal Science and Practice and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2019.102080

Acceptance date

01/11/2019

Publication date

2019-11-14

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2468-7812

eISSN

2468-7812

Language

en

Location

Netherlands

Depositor

Dr Roger Newport Deposit date: 26 November 2020

Article number

102080