Anxiety sensitivity does not enhance pain signaling at the spinal level

The Clinical Journal of Pain, 06/12/2012

Given that anxiety sensitivity (AS) was not significantly associated with measures of spinal nociception, these results suggest that AS may exert its influence on pain processing at the supraspinal, rather than the spinal level.


  • AS was assessed in healthy men and women using the Anxiety Sensitivity Index–Revised.
  • Then pain processing was assessed from electric pain threshold, nociceptive flexion reflex threshold, temporal summation of pain, temporal summation of nociceptive flexion reflex, and McGill Pain Questionnaire sensory and affective pain ratings.
  • Associations among variables were assessed using Winsorized correlations (a robust and statistically powerful analytic method).


  • AS was positively associated with sensory pain ratings, affective pain ratings, and temporal summation of pain, but was unrelated to all other outcomes.

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