Topical Concurrent Session 3D – Where and how much does it hurt? Making sense of spatial summation of pain
Where and how much does it hurt? Making sense of spatial summation of pain
Chair: Dr Mark Catley, University of South Australia, SA
Chronic pain is frequently characterised by unexplained increases in pain. Experimental pain models, such as spatial summation paradigms, are used to better understand these symptoms. Substantial evidence from experimental pain research exists that spatial summation occurs; that is, pain is increased when two spatially-distinct noxious stimuli, (versus one), are provided. Intriguingly, the magnitude of these effects is highly dependent on the spatial distance between the stimulated body sites. Spatial summation is implicated in a range of clinical presentations, for example, fibromyalgia.
This symposium will provide a comprehensive summary of the importance of spatial summation in pain. Dr Mark Catley will provide the current evidence for spatial summation and whether it occurs in both somatotopic (body-specific) and spatial frames of references: is this phenomenon restricted to anatomically-adjacent body regions or can it occur across anatomically-distinct regions that occupy the same space? Second, Prof Lorimer Moseley will discuss the biological mechanisms that likely underpin spatial summation, at a tissue-, spinal cord-, and brain-level, using clinician-friendly paradigms and labels. Last, Dr Tasha Stanton will present research evaluating the importance of cognitive factors in this phenomenon: does manipulating the perceived distance between two pain sites, using visual illusions, modulate the degree of spatial summation?
Dr Mark Catley, University of South Australia, SA
Professor Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia, SA
Dr Tasha Stanton, University of South Australia, SA