Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

Patients with fibromyalgia present different pain phenotypes compared to patients with generalized pain

Pacientes com fibromialgia apresentam fenótipos de dor diferentes em comparação com pacientes com dor generalizada

Juliana Valentim Bittencourt; Leticia Amaral Corrêa; Márcia Cliton Bezerra; Felipe José Jandre dos Reis; Katie de Luca; Leandro Alberto Calazans Nogueira

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Fibromyalgia and generalized pain represent a global health problem and are distinct musculoskeletal disorders, but there is an overlap in the clinical presentation between these conditions. However, no study has compared pain characteristics between patients with fibromyalgia and patients with generalized pain. Therefore, the present study aimed to compare pain characteristics and functional limitation of patients with fibromyalgia and patients with generalized pain.

METHODS: A pre-planned secondary analysis of data collected from 311 patients with musculoskeletal pain was performed. Pain characteristics included pain intensity, pain duration, pain area, symptoms of central sensitization, presence of neuropathic-like symptoms, and the conditioned pain modulation. The Patient-Specific Functional Scale assessed functional limitation.

RESULTS: 98 patients with generalized pain were identified, being 58 (59.18%) classified in the fibromyalgia group and 40 (40.82%) classified in the generalized pain group. Significant differences were found between groups for Widespread Pain Index, Symptom Severity Scale, and Polysymptomatic Distress Scale. Participants with fibromyalgia presented higher values of pain intensity (fibromyalgia = 7.29±2.07, generalized pain = 6.05±2.47; p=0.008), neuropathic-like symptoms (fibromyalgia = 17.74±7.62, generalized pain = 12.17±6.41; p=0.005), and symptoms of central sensitization (fibromyalgia = 51.32±14.26, generalized pain = 33.97±14.65; p<0.001), when compared with generalized pain. There was no significant difference in conditioned pain modulation and functional limitation between groups.

CONCLUSION: Patients with fibromyalgia exhibited unfavorable pain characteristics, including pain intensity, neuropathic-like symptoms, and symptoms of central sensitization compared to patients with generalized pain. However, pain duration, functional limitation, and conditioned pain modulation did not present meaningful differences between groups.


Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Pain measurement, Pain threshold


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Fibromialgia e dor generalizada representam um problema de saúde global e são distúrbios musculoesqueléticos distintos, mas há uma sobreposição na apresentação clínica entre essas condições. Entretanto, nenhum estudo comparou as características da dor entre os pacientes com estas condições. Portanto, o presente estudo teve como objetivo comparar as características da dor e a limitação funcional de pacientes com fibromialgia e dor generalizada.

MÉTODOS: Realizou-se uma análise secundária pré-planejada de dados coletados de 311 pacientes com dor musculoesquelética. As características da dor incluíram: intensidade da dor, duração da dor, área da dor, sintomas de sensibilização central, presença de sintomas neuropáticos e a modulação condicionada da dor. A escala de funcionalidade específica do paciente avaliou a limitação funcional.

RESULTADOS: Identificou-se 98 pacientes com dor generalizada, sendo 58 (59,18%) classificados no grupo de fibromialgia e 40 (40,82%) no grupo de dor generalizada. Diferenças significativas foram encontradas entre os grupos para o índice de dor generalizada, escala de severidade de sintomas e escala polissintomática de sofrimento. Os participantes com fibromialgia apresentaram maiores valores de intensidade da dor (fibromialgia = 7,29±2,07, dor generalizada = 6,05 ± 2,47; p=0,008), sintomas neuropáticos (fibromialgia = 17,74±7,62, dor generalizada = 12,17 ± 6,41; p=0,005) e sintomas de sensibilização central (fibromialgia = 51,32±14,26, dor generalizada = 33,97±14,65; p<0,001), quando comparados à dor generalizada. Não houve diferença significativa na modulação condicionada da dor e na limitação funcional entre os grupos.

CONCLUSÃO: Pacientes com fibromialgia exibiram características de dor desfavoráveis, incluindo intensidade de dor, sintomas neuropáticos e sintomas de sensibilização central, quando comparados a pacientes com dor generalizada. Entretanto, a duração da dor, a limitação funcional e a modulação condicionada da dor não apresentaram diferença significativa entre os grupos.


Dor crônica, Dor musculoesquelética, Fibromialgia, Limiar da dor, Medição da dor


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