Effects of a tailored exercise program in knee osteoarthritis patients with chronic pain: an fNIRS study

Öztürk Ö. , Algun Z. C. , Erdoğan S. B. , Bombacı H.

11 th Congress of the European Pain Federation, Valencia, Spain, 4 - 07 September 2019, pp.10-11

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Valencia
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.10-11


Background and aims: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a novel, noninvasive neuroimaging

modality for monitoring cortical activation. The aim of this study was to quantify the efficacy of an exercise program

tailored for knee osteoarthritis patients with chronic pain via fNIRS. To this aim, cortical hemodynamic correlates

of painful stimuli were obtained before and after a 6-week intervention. The second aim was to investigate the

relationship between changes in pain level and hemodynamic parameters pre and post-intervention.

Methods: Eleven patients with knee osteoarthritis participated in the study. They attended 18 sessions in 6 weeks.

Pain severity during activity was determined using the Visual Analog Scale, and brain hemodynamic responses were

assessed with a 48 channel fNIRS device at the onset and end of the exercise program. The fNIRS experimental

protocol consisted of 15 trials of painful and nonpainful stimuli applied for 5 seconds in a randomized order,

separated by interstimulus intervals of 30 seconds.

Results: Preliminary results yielded a significant main effect of channel location and intervention at the group level

for painful stimuli in terms of parameters related to oxyhemoglobin (HbO) consumption calculated by repeated

measures ANOVA (p< 0.05). Post-hoc paired t-tests revealed a significant difference in HbO parameters pre- and post-exercise pointing out an increase in dorsolateral prefrontal and frontopolar cortex activation.

Conclusions: Our preliminary results demonstrate the potential of fNIRS as an objective biomarker of pain

assessment and therapy monitoring. fNIRS is a promising tool for exploring the neuroplastic effects of exercise

programme in chronic pain conditions.