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Movement-Evoked Pain

unraveling the mechanisms

MOVEMENT-EVOKED PAIN: a new way of understanding pain

Musculoskeletal pain is a major health problem. It is the most prevalent type of chronic pain and affects all age groups. Musculoskeletal pain is associated with excessive health care costs and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.  One of the most frequent complaints among people with musculoskeletal pain is pain during physical activity, commonly referred to as movement-evoked pain (MEP). Though physical activity is known to be an important factor in the treatment of pain conditions, different responses to physical activity can be observed in patients with persistent pain. The hypoalgesic effects in response to physical activity typically seen in healthy individuals are reduced in some patients with chronic pain. In addition, increased pain during activity has been identified as an important but overlooked barrier in activity-based interventions, consequently leading to suboptimal treatment outcomes. 

Recent advancements in the way we understand pain have been an important incentive to consider MEP in relation to pain assessment. Pain during movement is suggested to be characterized by more severe pain intensity ratings and distinct underlying mechanisms.

In this project, we investigated how MEP should be targeted in patients with musculoskeletal pain, and identified contributing factors to the experience of this outcome.

A full copy of the thesis can be obtained from Lynn Leemans.


Primary Researcher

dr. Lynn Leemans


prof. Dr. David Beckwée
prof. Dr. Jo Nijs (Pain in Motion)
prof. Dr. Timothy Wideman