Objective: The main objectives of this review were, firstly, to study the effect of different physiotherapy interventions on BDNF levels, and, secondly, to analyze the influence of physiotherapy on pain levels to subsequently draw conclusions about its possible relationship with BDNF.

Background: Based on the theory that neurotrophic factors such as BDNF play a fundamental role in the initiation and/or maintenance of hyperexcitability of central neurons in pain, it was hypothesized that the levels of this neurotrophic factor may be modified by the application of therapeutic interventions, favoring a reduction in pain intensity.

Methods: A literature search of multiple electronic databases (Pubmed, PsycINFO, Medline (Ebsco), Scopus, WOS, Embase) was conducted to identify randomized control trials (RCTs) published without language restrictions up to and including March 2022. The search strategy was based on the combination of medical terms (Mesh) and keywords relating to the following concepts: “pain”, “chronic pain”, “brain derived neurotrophic factor”, “BDNF”, “physiotherapy”, and “physical therapy”. A total of seven papers were included. 

Results: There were two studies that showed statistically significant differences in pain intensity reduction and an increase in the BDNF levels that used therapies such as rTMS and EIMS in patients with chronic myofascial pain. However, the same conclusions cannot be drawn for the other physical therapies applied.

Conclusions: rTMS and EIMS interventions achieved greater short-term reductions in pain intensity and increased BDNF over other types of interventions in chronic myofascial pain patients, as demonstrated by a moderate amount of evidence. In contrast, other types of physical therapy (PT) interventions did not appear to be more effective in decreasing pain intensity and increasing BDNF levels than placebo PT or minimal intervention, as a low amount of evidence was found.

  1. Del Cura-González, I., Ariza-Cardiel, G., Polentinos-Castro, E., López-Rodríguez, J. A., Sanz-Cuesta, T., Barrio-Cortes, J., Andreu-Ivorra, B., Rodríguez-Barrientos, R., Ávila-Tomas, J. F., Gallego-Ruiz-de-Elvira, E., Lozano-Hernández, C., Martín-Fernández, J., & Educaguia Group (2022). Effectiveness of a game-based educational strategy e-EDUCAGUIA for implementing antimicrobial clinical practice guidelines in family medicine residents in Spain: a randomized clinical trial by cluster. BMC medical education22(1), 893.
  2. Ferrer-Peña, R., Cuenca-Martínez, F., Romero-Palau, M., Flores-Román, L. M., Arce-Vázquez, P., Varangot-Reille, C., & Suso-Martí, L. (2021). Effects of motor imagery on strength, range of motion, physical function, and pain intensity in patients with total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Brazilian journal of physical therapy25(6), 698–708.
  3. Serrano, J. I., Muñoz-García, D., Ferrer-Peña, R., D’eudeville, V., Brero, M., Boisson, M., & Del Castillo, M. D. (2020). Prior cortical activity differences during an action observation plus motor imagery task related to motor adaptation performance of a coordinated multi-limb complex task. Cognitive neurodynamics14(6), 769–779.
  4. Ferrer-Peña, R., Calvo-Lobo, C., La Touche, R., & Fernández-Carnero, J. (2020). Hip-Joint Posture and Movement Alterations Are Associated With High Interference of Pain in the Life of Patients With Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics43(6), 612–619.
  5. López-de-Uralde-Villanueva I,Tostado-Haro I,Noval-Granda B,Ferrer-Peña R,Del Corral T. Widespread impairment of tactile spatial acuity and sensory-motor control in patients with chronic nonspecific neck pain with neuropathic features. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2020 Feb 25;47 :102138.
  6. Cuenca JJA,Pecos-Martín D,Martínez-Merinero P,Lluch E,Nijs J,Meeus M,Peña RF,Fernandez-Carnero J. How Much Is Needed? Comparison of the Effectiveness of Different Pain Education Dosages in Patients with Fibromyalgia. Pain Med.
  7. Ferrer-Peña R,Vicente-de-Frutos G,Flandez-Santos D,Martín-Gómez C,Roncero-Jorge C,Calvo-Lobo C. Patient-reported outcomes measured with and without dizziness associated with non-specific chronic neck pain: implications for primary care. PeerJ. 2019; 7 :e7449.
  8. Ferrer-Peña R,Calvo-Lobo C,Gómez M,Muñoz-García D. Prediction Model for Choosing Needle Length to Minimize Risk of Median Nerve Puncture With Dry Needling of the Pronator Teres. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2019 Jun 28;.
  9. Ferrer-Peña R,Muñoz-García D,Calvo-Lobo C,Fernández-Carnero J. Pain Expansion and Severity Reflect Central Sensitization in Primary Care Patients with Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Pain Med. 2018 Oct 11;.
  10. Ferrer-Peña R,Moreno-López M,Calvo-Lobo C,López-de-Uralde-Villanueva I,Fernández-Carnero J. Relationship of Dynamic Balance Impairment with Pain-Related and Psychosocial Measures in Primary Care Patients with Chronic Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Pain Med. 2018 Aug 22;.
  11. Cuenca-Martínez F,Bartrina-Rodríguez I,Suso-Martí L,La Touche R,Ferrer-Peña R. Association between somatosensory, motor and psychological variables by levels of disability in patients with cervicogenic dizziness. Somatosens Mot Res. 2018 Dec 28;:1-6.
  12. Ferrer-Peña R,Calvo-Lobo C,Aiguadé R,Fernández-Carnero J. Which Seems to Be Worst? Pain Severity and Quality of Life between Patients with Lateral Hip Pain and Low Back Pain. Pain Res Manag. 2018; 2018 :9156247.
  13. Calvo-Lobo C,Velázquez-Saornil J,Ruíz-Ruíz B,Rodríguez-Sanz D,Ferrer-Peña R,López-López D,Seco-Calvo J,Palomo-López P. Subacute Clinical Features After Arthroscopy Surgical Reconstruction of Complete Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture: A Case-Control Study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Sep 28;.
  14. Romero-Moraleda B,La Touche R,Lerma-Lara S,Ferrer-Peña R,Paredes V,Peinado AB,Muñoz-García D. Neurodynamic mobilization and foam rolling improved delayed-onset muscle soreness in a healthy adult population: a randomized controlled clinical trial. PeerJ. 2017; 5 :e3908.
  15. Martínez-Cervera FV,Olteanu TE,Gil-Martínez A,Díaz-Pulido B,Ferrer-Peña R. Influence of expectations plus mobilization with movement in patient with lateral epicondylalgia: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Exerc Rehabil. 2017 Feb; 13 (1):101-109.
  16. Rejano-Campo M,Ferrer-Peña R,Urraca-Gesto MA,Gallego-Izquierdo T,Pecos-Martín D,Stuge B,Plaza-Manzano G. Transcultural adaptation and psychometric validation of a Spanish-language version of the «Pelvic Girdle Questionnaire». Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2017 Feb 01;15 (1):30.
  17. Del Cura-González I,López-Rodríguez JA,Sanz-Cuesta T,Rodríguez-Barrientos R,Martín-Fernández J,Ariza-Cardiel G,Polentinos-Castro E,Román-Crespo B,Escortell-Mayor E,Rico-Blázquez M,Hernández-Santiago V,Azcoaga-Lorenzo A,Ojeda-Ruiz E,González-González AI,Ávila-Tomas JF,Barrio-Cortés J,Molero-García JM,Ferrer-Peña R,Tello-Bernabé ME,Trujillo-Martín M, . Effectiveness of a strategy that uses educational games to implement clinical practice guidelines among Spanish residents of family and community medicine (e-EDUCAGUIA project): a clinical trial by clusters. Implement Sci. 2016 May 17;11 :71.
  18. Sánchez-Herán Á,Agudo-Carmona D,Ferrer-Peña R,López-de-Uralde-Villanueva I,Gil-Martínez A,Paris-Alemany A,La Touche R. Postural Stability in Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Hip: Analysis of Association With Pain Catastrophizing and Fear-Avoidance Beliefs. PM R. 2016 Jul; 8 (7):618-28.
  19. Ferrer-Peña R,Gil-Martínez A,Pardo-Montero J,Jiménez-Penick V,Gallego-Izquierdo T,La Touche R. Adaptation and validation of the Spanish version of the graded chronic pain scale. Reumatol Clin. ; 12 (3):130-8.
  20. Pérez-Fernández M,Lerma-Lara S,Ferrer-Peña R,Gil-Martínez A,López-de-Uralde-Villanueva I,Paris-Alemany A,Beltrán-Alacreu H,La Touche R. Fear and difficulty perceived when visualizing therapeutic exercise in patients with chronic low back pain: A cross-sectional study. J Exerc Rehabil. 2015 Dec; 11 (6):345-55. 2019 Apr 24;

Grupos de Investigación

El grupo Motion in Brains de Ciencias del Movimiento, Bioconducta y Estudio del Dolor forma parte del Instituto de Neurociencias y Ciencias del Movimiento (INCIMOV) del CSEU La Salle. 

Las lineas de investigación que desarrollo en este grupo tienen relación con: 

  • Procesos cognitivos implicados en los tratamientos de fisioterapia aplicados al paciente con dolor

  • Factores bioconductuales implicados en el dolor crónico

  • El efecto de la educación terapéutica sobre los pacientes con dolor crónico

  • Entrenamiento cerebral y sus implicaciones clínicas sobre la actividad motora y sensorial

El Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Universitario La Paz (IdiPAZ) está acreditado por el Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII). En este grupo desarrollo mi actividad científica en el Grupo 2, del Área de Neurociencias, sobre NEUROLOGÍA Y ENFERMEDADES CEREBROVASCULARES.

Las líneas de investigación que desarrollo en este grupo son las relacionadas con:

  • Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas
  • Cefaleas y dolor neuropático