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Br Med J. Oct 28, 1972; 4(5834): 193–195.
PMCID: PMC1786498

Pain Threshold and Arthritis*


Pain threshold was measured in 106 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 50 with ankylosing spondylitis, and 50 normal controls using Keele's algometer. In rheumatoid arthritis patients with a low pain threshold had more severe pain for a greater part of the day and required more tablets for pain relief. In ankylosing spondylitis the pain threshold was higher and was not related to pain or analgesic requirements. There was no evidence that pain threshold affected the course or outcome of rheumatoid arthritis in any way.

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Selected References

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  • Castillo BA, el Sallab RA, Scott JT. Physical activity, cystic erosions, and osteoporosis in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1965 Nov;24(6):522–527. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • CLARK CJM. Psychological factors and pain in the assessment of rheumatoid therapy. Ann Rheum Dis. 1951 Jun;10(2):105–110. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • HART FD, MACLAGAN NF. Ankylosing spondylitis; a review of 184 cases. Ann Rheum Dis. 1955 Mar;14(1):77–83. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kamermann JS. Protective effect of traumatic lesions on rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1966 Jul;25(4):361–363. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • KEELE KD. Pain-sensitivity tests; the pressure algometer. Lancet. 1954 Mar 27;266(6813):636–639. [PubMed]
  • Keele KD. Pain complaint threshold in relation to pain of cardiac infarction. Br Med J. 1968 Mar 16;1(5593):670–673. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ritchie DM, Boyle JA, McInnes JM, Jasani MK, Dalakos TG, Grieveson P, Buchanan WW. Clinical studies with an articular index for the assessment of joint tenderness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Q J Med. 1968 Jul;37(147):393–406. [PubMed]

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