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Thermal Pain Perception After Aerobic Exercise

  • Stephen B. Ruble
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
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  • Martin D. Hoffman
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests to Martin D. Hoffman, MD, Dept of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (117), Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way, Mather, CA 95655-1200
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, VA Northern California Health Care System and University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA
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  • Melissa A. Shepanski
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

    Department of Clinical Psychology, Drexel University and the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, The Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
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  • Zoran Valic
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
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  • John B. Buckwalter
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
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  • Philip S. Clifford
    Affiliations
    Department of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
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      Abstract

      Ruble SB, Hoffman MD, Shepanski MA, Valic Z, Buckwalter JB, Clifford PS. Thermal pain perception after aerobic exercise.

      Objective

      To examine thermal pain perception before, 5 minutes after, and 30 minutes after 30 minutes of treadmill exercise at 75% of maximal oxygen uptake (V̇o2max).

      Design

      Repeated-measures.

      Setting

      Sports science laboratory.

      Participants

      Convenience sample of 14 healthy male and female volunteers (mean age ± standard deviation, 32±3y).

      Interventions

      Sensory thresholds, pain thresholds, and pain ratings to hot and cold stimuli were measured before and after 30 minutes of treadmill exercise at 75% of V̇o2max. The hot and cold stimuli were delivered by using a thermode placed on the thenar eminence of the nondominant hand. Thermal sensory and pain thresholds were determined during continuous ramps in temperature of the thermode.

      Main outcome measures

      Pain ratings were measured on a visual analog scale at 10-second intervals over 2 minutes of thermal pain stimulation.

      Results

      There were no significant changes in thermal sensitivity, pain thresholds, or pain ratings for either heat or cold after 30 minutes of exercise at 75% of V̇o2max.

      Conclusions

      Pain perception to thermal stimuli was unaltered after 30 minutes of exercise at 75% of V̇o2max, an intensity and duration of exercise previously shown to alter pain perception to electric and mechanical stimuli.

      Key words

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