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Volume 19 , Issue 2
Spring 2005

Pages 127–132


Generalized Pain and Pain Sensitivity in Community Subjects with Facial Pain: A Case-Control Study

Kirsi Sipilä, DDS, PhD/Paavo Zitting, MD/Pertti Siira, Pt/Ahti Niinimaa, PhD/Aune M. Raustia, DDS, PhD


PMID: 15895835

Aims: To investigate the existence of pain outside the facial area as well as pain sensitivity in a population-based sample of 34-year-old subjects with facial pain. Methods: Fifty-two facial pain cases (10 men, 42 women) and 52 pain-free controls (10 men, 42 women) included in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort of 1966 underwent a clinical musculoskeletal examination. Pain outside the facial area during the week prior to the examination was defined by means of a pain drawing. Eighteen fibromyalgia points were palpated in response to digital palpation with an algometer. Pressure pain thresholds were measured from the dorsal side of the wrist and from the highest points of the temporalis muscles. Results: Compared to controls, pain cases reported significantly more pain in areas outside the face, with the exception of the shoulder and lower back. The number of painful fibromyalgia points was significantly higher in cases than in controls. Mean pressure pain thresholds were slightly lower in cases than in controls; the difference was significant in the left wrist. Conclusion: Subjects with facial pain reported more pain and had more muscular tenderness outside the facial area compared to controls. Pain symptoms outside the facial area should be assessed in patients seeking treatment for facial pain, and they should be taken into account when treatment is planned. J Orofac Pain 2005;19:127–132


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