Altered thermal sensitivity in facial skin in chronic whiplash-associated disorders
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Oral Science, ISSN 1674-2818, Vol. 5, no 3, 150-154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is a close functional relationship between the jaw and neck regions and it has been suggested that trigeminal sensory impairment can follow whiplash injury. Inclusion of manageable routines for valid assessment of the facial sensory capacity is thus needed for comprehensive evaluations of patients exposed to such trauma. The present study investigated facial thermal thresholds in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) with both a qualitative method and quantitative sensory testing (QST). Ten women with pain and dysfunction following a whiplash injury were compared to 10 healthy age-matched women. Thermal detection thresholds were assessed by qualitative chair-side testing and by QST according to the method-of-limits. Seven test sites in the facial skin (overlying each trigeminal branch bilaterally, and the midpoint of the chin) were examined. The detection warm and cold thresholds were defined as the mean values of 10 individual thresholds. For the WAD patients, the qualitative assessment demonstrated both reduced and increased sensitivity compared to the healthy, whereas QST systematically showed significantly higher detection thresholds (i.e., decreased sensitivity) for both cold and warm stimuli. For the individuals who were assessed as having increased sensitivity in the qualitative assessment, the QST displayed either normal or higher thresholds, i.e., decreased sensitivity. The results suggest that QST is more sensitive for detecting thermal sensory disturbances in the face than a qualitative method. The impaired thermal sensitivity among the patients corroborates the notion of altered thermal detection capacity induced by WAD-related pain.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 5, no 3, 150-154 p.
jaw, neck, quantitative sensory testing, thermal thresholds, trigeminal, whiplash injury
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81517DOI: 10.1038/ijos.2013.42ISI: 000324454100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-81517DiVA: diva2:656823