PainSci summary of Littlewood 2013: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.
Explanations for pain based on “peripherally driven nociceptive mechanisms secondary to structural abnormality, or failed healing, appear inadequate” — at least in the context of rotator cuff tendinopathy (and probably much else). Instead, Littlewood et al. propose that the symptoms of tendinopathy can occur without any actual or impending tissue damage: the CNS may react to relative overuse of a de-conditioned tendon with fearful avoidance of movement, a vicious cycle of painfsrul inhibition of function. The supporting evidence for this hypothesis is circumstantial but substantial.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Tendinopathy is a term used to describe a painful tendon disorder but despite being a well-recognised clinical presentation, a definitive understanding of the pathoaetiology of rotator cuff tendinopathy remains elusive. Current explanatory models, which relate to peripherally driven nocioceptive mechanisms secondary to structural abnormality, or failed healing, appear inadequate on their own in the context of current literature. In light of these limitations this paper presents an extension to current models that incorporates the integral role of the central nervous system in the pain experience. The role of the central nervous system (CNS) is described and justified along with a potential rationale to explain the favourable response to loaded therapeutic exercises demonstrated by previous studies. This additional consideration has the potential to offer a useful way to explain pain to patients, for clinicians to prescribe appropriate therapeutic management strategies and for researchers to advance knowledge in relation to this clinically challenging problem.
- “Adhesive capsulitis: An age related symptom of metabolic syndrome and chronic low-grade inflammation?,” Max Pietrzak, Medical Hypotheses, 2016.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.