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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Werner, Mads


CiteScore 2018: 0.85

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.494
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.427

Online
ISSN
1877-8879
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Volume 16, Issue 1

Issues

The size of pain referral patterns from a tonic painful mechanical stimulus is increased in women

Q.G. Liu
  • SMI, Department of Health and Science Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Department of Sport Rehabilitation, School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ T.S. Palsson
  • SMI, Department of Health and Science Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ L.B. Sørensen
  • SMI, Department of Health and Science Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ T. Graven-Nielsen
  • Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), SMI, Department of Health and Science Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-07-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.042

Abstract

Aims

The purpose of this study was to investigate potential gender differences in pain referral patterns induced by a tonic painful mechanical stimulus.

Methods

Forty-five healthy adults (22 women) participated in this study. Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were assessed at the infraspinatus, the brachioradialis and the gastrocnemius muscles on the dominant side, using handheld algometry. Following this, painful pressure at the infraspinatus muscle was induced using the algometer by rapidly increasing the pressure until it reached the level of 7 cm on VAS (PVAS7). This pressure was kept constant for 60s. Upon release, the subject was asked to indicate the area of the pressure-induced pain on a digital body chart. PPT values, PVAS7 and the pain area (number of pixels) were extracted for data analysis.

Results

No gender differences were found in PPT values (P >0.05). The pressure needed to reach 7 cm on the VAS was significantly lower in the female group (687.4±50.5 kPa) compared with males (971.0 ± 49.6 kPa; unpaired t-test: P < 0.05). The size of the pain area following PVAS7 stimulation for 60 s was significantly larger in the female group (12,578.5 ± 17,280.3 pixels) compared with the male group (6175.0 ± 9518.5 pixels; Mann–Whitney-U; P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Despite comparable PPT values, women demonstrated larger pain areas compared with men although the standardized painful stimulus which intensity was perceived similarly as 7 cm on the VAS scale in both groups. These findings suggest that there are gender-specific differences in pain distribution and referred pain but it is unclear through which mechanism they are mediated.

About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-01

Published in Print: 2017-07-01


Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 179–179, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.042.

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