Inflammation Triggers Pain of Knee OA
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 04:31 PM

Inflammation appears to be a key driver of pain in knee osteoarthritis (OA) and could be an under-recognized early target to prevent pain progression, new research suggests.  "This is, I would say, an essentially undertargeted area for testing treatments in OA," researchers noted.

Rheumatologists have traditionally considered OA to be a non-inflammatory disease, but new evidence shows that synovitis and effusion, markers of inflammation, are directly linked to increased pain sensitization in patients with knee OA.  The findings "may explain why some people have more pain severity than others," said the researcher.  The new findings suggest it may be important to target OA inflammation early to reduce the risk of developing pain sensitization.  

"The take-home messages from these findings are that synovitis, which is thought to reflect inflammation of the synovial lining, decreases PPT over time, meaning that it is associated with an increase in pain sensitivity over time.  Effusion, which is fluid in the joint cavity, is associated with new temporal summation development, meaning it also is associated with more pain sensitivity over time."

Researchers said the results suggest that anti-inflammatory approaches to reduce effusion and synovitis may prevent pain or progression of pain in knee OA.  "It's thought that if sensitization continues unabated it may not be reversible, so if we can target something early on to try to prevent sensitization from becoming more permanent, that might be yet another strategy for ... in OA."