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J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jul;29(7):1236-1241. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.1236. Epub 2017 Jul 15.

The influence of trait anxiety and illusory kinesthesia on pain threshold.

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Department of Neurorehabilitation, Graduate School of Health Science, Kio University, Japan.
Department of Rehabilitation, Kawachi General Hospital, Japan.
Neuro Rehabilitation Research Center, Kio University, Japan.


[Purpose] It has also been reported that decreased activity in the reward pathway causes a decrease in brain activity in the descending pain control system in people with high trait anxiety. Activation of this system is dependent on both the reward pathway and motor areas. Recently, studies have also shown that motor areas are activated by illusory kinesthesia. It was aimed to explore whether anxiety trait modulates the influence of illusory kinesthesia on pain threshold. [Subjects and Methods] The pain threshold and trait anxiety at rest before vibratory tendon stimulation (the task) were measured. After the task, the pain threshold, the illusory kinesthesia angle, and the intensity of illusory kinesthesia for patients with and without illusory kinesthesia were measured. A total of 35 healthy right-handed students participated, among whom 22 and 13 were included in the illusion and no-illusion groups, respectively. [Results] There was a significant increase in the pain threshold after task completion in both groups; however, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Correlational analysis revealed that State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-trait score correlated negatively with the pain threshold in the no-illusion group, but there was no correlation in the illusion group. [Conclusion] The pain threshold improved regardless of the size of trait anxiety in the illusion group, but did not improve merely through sensory input by vibratory stimulation in the no-illusion group. Thus, illusory kinesthesia has effect of increasing the pain threshold.


Illusory kinesthesia; Pain threshold; Trait anxiety

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