Research Study

University of California San Diego Health researchers are conducting a study in individuals with fibromyalgia to evaluate perceptions of different types of sensations. Join our compensated study today!

Fast Facts

diagnosed Fibromyalgia

Fluent in English

18-65 years old

Compensation Provided

Conducted in san diego, CA

Study Background

This study investigates whether light and deep types of touch – common in massage therapies – reduce pain, and whether these types of touch have different effects in people with fibromyalgia. We are also examining psychological factors that might explain individual differences in touch perception in individuals with chronic pain. 

Eligible participants will experience several types of sensations on their arms or legs, including brushing, pressure, tapping, and heat. Participants will provide ratings of how these sensations feel.

Your participation will help improve our understanding of how massage therapy can affect pain and health, and how this might differ in people who suffer from chronic pain. Further research today and join our compensated study!

Additional Information

The purpose of this research study is to explore how chronic pain affects touch perception, and how that might change the effect of manual therapies for pain and health.

You may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria.

Key Criteria:

  • Diagnosed with fibromyalgia
  • 18-65 years old
  • Fluent in English
  • No known anomalies of central nervous system (i.e. stroke, dementia, aneurysm, psychosis)
  • Not pregnant
  • No major medical conditions
  • No history of blood clots or clotting disorders
  • Not currently using opiate medications
  • No history of fainting or seizures
  • No history of frostbite
  • No history of Reynaud’s phenomenon

Before the first study visit, you will complete a number of questionnaires about your health history and social and emotional well-being. This can be done remotely.

The study itself involves two in-person sessions. During these sessions, you will:

  • perceive and rate a variety of types of touch including brushing, pressure, and tapping.
  • receive heat pain applied with a device called a thermode. This device will apply heat to your arm or leg for up to a minute at a time, at a level that you rate to be painful but tolerable.
  • complete a task where you submerge your forearm and hand in very cold water. 

This experiment requires that you come into the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) two times. Each session will take 2-3 hours.

Compensation is provided up to $120 for your time.

There is no cost to participate in this study.