Pain Thresholds in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Effect of Tender Point Counts and Disease Duration

The Journal of Rheumatology | November 17, 2011

Pollard LC et al. – The findings suggest that low pain thresholds reflect “fibromyalgic” rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (many tender points) and central pain sensitization with prolonged disease duration.


  • A cross–sectional observational study (105 patients with RA) assessed pain thresholds using an algometer.
  • Regression analysis examined the influence of demographic and clinical assessments.


  • Pain thresholds (median 289, interquartile range 89–434) correlated with assessments of disease activity (tender joint counts), disability (Health Assessment Questionnaire), fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
  • Ordinal logistic regression showed tender point counts and disease duration were the dominant contributors.

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