Chronic neck/shoulder pain (CNSP) is one of the most common pain conditions.
The authors studied the levels of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) (and stearoylethanolamide, SEA) in the muscle tissue of the neck (trapezius) muscle in women with CNSP randomized to two different neck specific training programs and in a healthy pain-free control group .
Fifty-seven women with chronic neck/shoulder pain were randomized to various exercise programs. Twenty-nine subjects underwent microdialysis procedure before and after 4-6 months of exercise. Twenty-four controle subjects underwent microdialysis procedure before and after 4-6 months without any intervention in between.
PEA and SEA levels were significantly higher in chronic neck/shoulder pain patients compared with painfree control patients. PEA was significantly higher in chronic neck/shoulder pain than in control patients after both training programs.
Pain intensity was less when PEA levels were higher. This study supports the use of exogenous PEA in chronic neck/shoulder pain and shows that exercise is also a pain-reducing technique as it increases our own PEA levels.
Ghafouri N1, Ghafouri B, Fowler CJ, Larsson B, Turkina MV, Karlsson L, Gerdle B. Effects of Two Different Specific Neck Exercise Interventions on Palmitoylethanolamide and Stearoylethanolamide Concentrations in the Interstitium of the Trapezius Muscle in Women with Chronic Neck Shoulder Pain. Pain Med. 2014 Jul 4. doi: 10.1111/pme.12486.