Pain Catastrophizing, Response to Experimental Heat Stimuli, and Post-Cesarean Section Pain

Lihi Strulov, Etan Z. Zimmer, Michal Granot, Ada Tamir, Peter Jakobi, Lior Lowenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This prospective study assessed the relation between pain catastrophizing, response to experimental pain stimuli, and pain perceived by women after elective cesarean sections. Forty-seven women who were scheduled for elective cesarean section were enrolled in the study. Magnitude estimation to suprathreshold phasic and tonic heat pain stimuli was assessed 1 or 2 days before surgery. Women completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale after the heat stimuli and again on the first postoperative day. During the first and second postoperative days, perception of pain intensity was assessed by visual analog scale at each analgesia request. A multiple regression analysis revealed that pain on the first postoperative day was predicted by patient response to preoperative tonic heat stimuli (r2 = .167, P = .008). Pain on the second postoperative day was predicted by preoperative pain catastrophizing (r2 = .139, P = .021). No significant association was observed between preoperative response to heat stimuli or pain catastrophizing and the patient's analgesic consumption in the obstetrical ward. It is concluded that pain catastrophizing and response to experimental tonic heat pain correlate with post-cesarean section pain. Perspective: This article presents psychological and psychophysical measures that may be of help in the prediction of post-cesarean section pain. It may therefore contribute to the treatment of the sequelae of the most common major surgical procedure performed in women in their reproductive years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Cesarean section pain
  • analgesia
  • experimental heat stimuli
  • pain catastrophizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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