Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 215 - 222

Research article
Changes in Pain Perception in Women During and Following an Exhaustive Incremental Cycling Exercise
Daniel G. Drury1, , Katelyn Greenwood1, Kristin J. Stuempfle1, Kelli F. Koltyn2
Author Information
1 Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Psychology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin- Madison, USA

Daniel G. Drury
✉ Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, Gettysburg College, 300 N. Washington Street, Box 432, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325, USA
Email: ddrury@gettysburg.edu
Publish Date
Received: 07-02-2005
Accepted: 03-05-2005
Published (online): 01-09-2005
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ABSTRACT

Exercise has been found to alter pain sensitivity with a hypoalgesic response (i.e., diminished sensitivity to pain) typically reported during and/or following high intensity exercise. Most of this research, however, has involved the testing of men. Thus, the purpose of the following investigation was to examine changes in pain perception in women during and following exercise. Seventeen healthy female subjects (age 20.47±.87; VO2 peak 36.77± 4.95) volunteered to undergo pain assessment prior to, during, and after a graded exhaustive VO2 peak cycling challenge. Heart Rate (HR) and Oxygen Uptake (VO2) were monitored along with electro-diagnostic assessments of Pain Threshold (PT) and Pain Tolerance (PTOL) at: 1) baseline (B), 2) during exercise (i.e., 120 Watts), 3) at exhaustive intensity (VO2 peak), and 4) 10 minutes into recovery (R). Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA to determine differences across trials. Significant differences in PT and PTOL were found across trials (PT, p = 0.0043; PTOL p = 0.0001). Post hoc analyses revealed that PT were significantly elevated at VO2 peak in comparison to B (p = 0.007), 120 Watts (p = 0.0178) and R (p = 0.0072). PTOL were found to be significantly elevated at 120 Watts (p = 0.0247), VO2 peak (p < 0.001), and R (p = 0.0001) in comparison to B. In addition, PTOL were found to be significantly elevated at VO2 peak in comparison to 120 Watts (p = 0.0045). It is concluded that exercise-induced hypoalgesia occurs in women during and following exercise, with the hypoalgesic response being most pronounced following exhaustive exercise.

Key words: Nociception, cycling, hypoalgesia, pain tolerance threshold


           Key Points
  • Exercise-induced hypoalgesia (i.e., elevated PT and PTOL) was found to occur in women during and following exercise, with the hypoalgesic response being most pronounced during exhaustive exercise.
 
 
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