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Table 2 Methods used to assess the potential mechanisms involved in chronic non-specific musculoskeletal pain

From: Subgroups of musculoskeletal pain patients and their psychobiological patterns – The LOGIN study protocol

Measures Variables
Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) [76, 103] Comprehensive profiles of somatosensory functions (thermal and mechanical detection and pain thresholds, vibration thresholds, and pain sensitivity to sharp and blunt mechanical stimuli). Discrimination between local vs. generalised and peripheral vs. central nervous mechanisms.
Conditioned Pain Modulation (CPM, the diffuse noxious inhibitory control-like effect) [77, 78] A descending pain inhibitory mechanism that inhibits nociceptive activity arising from the afferent primary fibres at multiple levels of the dorsal horn, resulting in diffuse pain inhibition. These descending pain pathways originate from the brainstem and have significant inhibitory actions on nociceptive activity, thereby affecting pain perception.
Blood Tests  
Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Plasma NGF levels (proximity ligand ELISA techniques)
Endocannabinoids + related lipids (ECs) EC (anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), 1-arachidonoly glycerol (1-AG), palmitoyl ethanol amine (PEA), oleoyl ethanol amine (OEA), arachidonic acid) in human plasma (large- scale lipidomic profiling using the LC-MS/MS QTrap ABI5500)
Genetics 2* 9 ml EDTA tubes, stored for the second funding period