Falanga torture beatings on the foot soles produces local chronic pain foottorture severe walking difficulties.
We foottorture previously reported signs of neuropathic pain in the feet of falanga victims. The objective here was to clarify underlying pain mechanisms by quantifying sensory impairments in the feet of torture victims foottorture had experienced both generalized torture and those who had been exposed to falanga in addition.
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An ethnically foottorture control group was available. Pain intensity, area and stimulus dependence were used to characterize the pain as were interview data on sensory symptoms.
QST included thresholds for touch, cold, warmth, cold-pain, heat-pain, deep pressure pain and wind-up to cutaneous noxious stimuli in the foot soles. Clinical data on anxiety and depression were retrieved.
Almost all falanga victims had moderate or strong pain in their feet and in twice as large an area of their foot soles as other torture victims. One-third of the latter had no pain in their feet and many reported slight pain; in spite of this, there were no differences in foot sole QST data between the tortured groups.
A comparison with normal data indicated that both tortured groups had hypoesthesia for all cutaneous sensory fibre groups except those transmitting cold foottorture heat pain, in addition to deep mechano-nociceptive hyperalgesia. A comparison of the QST data between victims having been exposed to generalized torture and victims who in addition had been exposed to mary cary xxx, showed no differences on the group level.
The sensory disturbances in relation to our control group are compatible with central sensitization and de-sensitization, pointing to a core role of central mechanisms.
A further analysis to create individual sensory profiles from our measurements is in progress. The use of falanga beatings on the soles of the feet is a torture method which deliberately aims at inflicting intense pain in the feet and lower legs [ 12 ].