Finding out how kinesiophobia -unreasonable fear of movement- may affect individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain is the aim of a research group of the University of Malaga (UMA), which recent studies have been published in the scientific journal British Journal of Sports Medicine, the world's number 1 publication in the locomotor system field.
After several systematic reviews, these experts, who form part of the IBIMA group "Chronicity and Health Services", particularly, of the area of Physiotherapy and Chronic Pain, detected in a first study, published in 2018, that individuals showing greater levels of chronic pain and longer pain duration also show a greater degree of fear of movement.
In a second stage of study, researchers focused on a specific non-chronic pain: the whiplash, where, as they verified, it seems that kinesiophobia doesn't play such a crucial role in the chronicization of these symptoms.
"We can affirm that fear of movement does not have such a decisive influence on patients with whiplash", explains Professor of Physiotherapy Alejandro Luque Suárez, main researcher of these studies, who adds that there are other biopsychosocial factors that justify it. Analyzing these causes and the reason -already at an experimental stage- is precisely the next step of the study, as underlined by researcher and co-author Javier Martínez Calderón.
On the other hand, a recent article published in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, researchers recommend the combination of education and exercise, under professional supervision, as the best therapy to reduce kinesiophobia, after a systematic review on patients with chronic low back pain.
Martinez-Calderon, J., et al. (2019) Conservative Interventions Reduce Fear in Individuals With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2019.08.470.