The central sensitization inventory (CSI) screens for symptoms related to sensitization or nociplastic pain

 

Signs of nociplastic pain

1. long-standing symptoms symptoms (> 3 months)
2. spread of symptoms beyond the boundary of the injury area
3. marked increased sensitivity to painful stimuli, and
4. non-pain symptoms that cause system-wide symptoms like severe fatigue disrupted sleep, and brain fog

 

 

 

 

 

Scoring the CSI

After reading a statement, a numerical score is given based on the response.

Never=0, Rarely=1, Sometimes=2, Often=3, Always=4.

After responding to all the statements, the score is added up. The total score ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores suggesting more sensitization. A score of 40 or higher is suggestive of significant symptoms from sensitization.

*The measure is not meant as a self-diagnostic tool since diagnosis requires consideration of other factors not included in it.

 

Central Sensitization Inventory

 Please circle the best response to the right of each statement. 
1I feel tired and unrefreshed when I wake from sleeping.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
2My muscles feel stiff and achy.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
3I have anxiety attacks.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
4I grind or clench my teeth.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
5I have problems with diarrhea and/or constipation.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
6I need help in performing my daily activities.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
7I am sensitive to bright lights.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
8I get tired very easily when I am physically active.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
9I feel pain all over my body.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
10I have headaches.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
11I feel discomfort in my bladder and/or burning when I urinate.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
12I do not sleep well.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
13I have difficulty concentrating.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
14I have skin problems such as dryness, itchiness, or rashes.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
15Stress makes my physical symptoms get worse.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
16I feel sad or depressed.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
17I have low energy.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
18I have muscle tension in my neck and shoulders.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
19I have pain in my jaw.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
20Certain smells, such as perfumes, make me feel dizzy and nauseated.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
21I have to urinate frequently.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
22My legs feel uncomfortable and restless when I am trying to go to sleep at night.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
23I have difficulty remembering things.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
24I suffered trauma as a child.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
25I have pain in my pelvic area.NeverRarelySometimesOftenAlways
Total= 

Mayer TG, et al. The development and psychometric validation of the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI). Pain Pract. 2012; 12(4):276-285.

The questionnaire is available at pridedallas.com.

 

About the CSI

The measure includes 25 statements. About half of them refer to symptoms of common sensitization syndromes, such as headaches and stiff and achy muscles. The other questions are used to gather information about the non-pain symptoms, such as sleep issues and fatigue. As well as commonly associated factors, such as associations with stress, mental health, and prior trauma. The CSI looks at whether stress makes physical symptoms worse. It asks about anxiety attacks, feeling sad, and about any trauma suffered as a child. All are additional factors in the development or worsening of sensitization syndromes.

 

The diagnosis of sensitization syndrome is best done by a licensed medical provider. You could have an undiagnosed medical condition along with sensitization. This list is helpful but doesn’t evaluate for the possibility of overlapping medical conditions that could cause the same symptoms. For example, low thyroid can cause many of the symptoms listed here, such as fatigue, sadness, and digestive changes. And, of course, you can have both at once.