Isometric Exercise Above but not Below an Individual’s Pain Threshold Influences Pain Perception in People With Lateral Epicondylalgia

Brooke K. Coombes, Matheus Wiebusch, Luke Heales, Aoife Stephenson, Bill Vicenzino

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    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To examine the acute effects of isometric exercise of different intensities on pain perception in individuals with chronic lateral epicondylalgia. Materials and Methods: Participants performed 3 experimental tasks completed in a randomized order on separate days: control (no exercise) and isometric wrist extension (10×15 s) at load 20% below (infrathreshold), and 20% above (suprathreshold) an individual’s pain threshold. Self-reported pain intensity (11-point numeric rating scales), pressure pain threshold, and pain-free grip were assessed by a blinded examiner before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after task performance. Relation analysis between pain ratings and clinical variables, including pain and disability and kinesiophobia was performed. Results: Twenty-four individuals with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia of median 3-month duration participated. Pain intensity during contraction was significantly higher during suprathreshold exercise than infrathreshold exercise (mean difference in numeric rating scale 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.5; P=0.002). Pain intensity during suprathreshold exercise was significantly correlated with pain and disability (R=0.435, P=0.034) and kinesiophobia (R=0.556, P=0.005). Pain intensity was significantly higher immediately after performance of suprathreshold exercise, compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.01) and control (P<0.001) conditions, whereas infrathreshold exercise and control conditions were comparable. Thirty minutes later, pain levels remained significantly higher for suprathreshold exercise compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.043). Pressure pain threshold and pain-free grip showed no significant effects of time, condition, or time×condition (P>0.05). Discussion: Individuals with lateral epicondylalgia demonstrated increased pain intensity after an acute bout of isometric exercise performed at an intensity above, but not below, their individual pain threshold. Further investigation is needed to determine whether measurement of an individual’s exercise induced pain threshold may be important in reducing symptom flares associated with exercise.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages1069-1075
    JournalThe Clinical Journal of Pain
    Volume32
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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    Pain Perception
    Pain Threshold
    Exercise
    Pain
    Task Performance and Analysis
    Hand Strength
    Wrist
    Confidence Intervals
    Pressure

    Cite this

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    title = "Isometric Exercise Above but not Below an Individual’s Pain Threshold Influences Pain Perception in People With Lateral Epicondylalgia",
    abstract = "Objective: To examine the acute effects of isometric exercise of different intensities on pain perception in individuals with chronic lateral epicondylalgia. Materials and Methods: Participants performed 3 experimental tasks completed in a randomized order on separate days: control (no exercise) and isometric wrist extension (10×15 s) at load 20{\%} below (infrathreshold), and 20{\%} above (suprathreshold) an individual’s pain threshold. Self-reported pain intensity (11-point numeric rating scales), pressure pain threshold, and pain-free grip were assessed by a blinded examiner before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after task performance. Relation analysis between pain ratings and clinical variables, including pain and disability and kinesiophobia was performed. Results: Twenty-four individuals with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia of median 3-month duration participated. Pain intensity during contraction was significantly higher during suprathreshold exercise than infrathreshold exercise (mean difference in numeric rating scale 1.0; 95{\%} confidence interval, 0.4-1.5; P=0.002). Pain intensity during suprathreshold exercise was significantly correlated with pain and disability (R=0.435, P=0.034) and kinesiophobia (R=0.556, P=0.005). Pain intensity was significantly higher immediately after performance of suprathreshold exercise, compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.01) and control (P<0.001) conditions, whereas infrathreshold exercise and control conditions were comparable. Thirty minutes later, pain levels remained significantly higher for suprathreshold exercise compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.043). Pressure pain threshold and pain-free grip showed no significant effects of time, condition, or time×condition (P>0.05). Discussion: Individuals with lateral epicondylalgia demonstrated increased pain intensity after an acute bout of isometric exercise performed at an intensity above, but not below, their individual pain threshold. Further investigation is needed to determine whether measurement of an individual’s exercise induced pain threshold may be important in reducing symptom flares associated with exercise.",
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    Isometric Exercise Above but not Below an Individual’s Pain Threshold Influences Pain Perception in People With Lateral Epicondylalgia. / Coombes, Brooke K.; Wiebusch, Matheus; Heales, Luke; Stephenson, Aoife; Vicenzino, Bill.

    In: The Clinical Journal of Pain, Vol. 32, No. 12, 01.12.2016, p. 1069-1075.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Isometric Exercise Above but not Below an Individual’s Pain Threshold Influences Pain Perception in People With Lateral Epicondylalgia

    AU - Coombes, Brooke K.

    AU - Wiebusch, Matheus

    AU - Heales, Luke

    AU - Stephenson, Aoife

    AU - Vicenzino, Bill

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    N2 - Objective: To examine the acute effects of isometric exercise of different intensities on pain perception in individuals with chronic lateral epicondylalgia. Materials and Methods: Participants performed 3 experimental tasks completed in a randomized order on separate days: control (no exercise) and isometric wrist extension (10×15 s) at load 20% below (infrathreshold), and 20% above (suprathreshold) an individual’s pain threshold. Self-reported pain intensity (11-point numeric rating scales), pressure pain threshold, and pain-free grip were assessed by a blinded examiner before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after task performance. Relation analysis between pain ratings and clinical variables, including pain and disability and kinesiophobia was performed. Results: Twenty-four individuals with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia of median 3-month duration participated. Pain intensity during contraction was significantly higher during suprathreshold exercise than infrathreshold exercise (mean difference in numeric rating scale 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.5; P=0.002). Pain intensity during suprathreshold exercise was significantly correlated with pain and disability (R=0.435, P=0.034) and kinesiophobia (R=0.556, P=0.005). Pain intensity was significantly higher immediately after performance of suprathreshold exercise, compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.01) and control (P<0.001) conditions, whereas infrathreshold exercise and control conditions were comparable. Thirty minutes later, pain levels remained significantly higher for suprathreshold exercise compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.043). Pressure pain threshold and pain-free grip showed no significant effects of time, condition, or time×condition (P>0.05). Discussion: Individuals with lateral epicondylalgia demonstrated increased pain intensity after an acute bout of isometric exercise performed at an intensity above, but not below, their individual pain threshold. Further investigation is needed to determine whether measurement of an individual’s exercise induced pain threshold may be important in reducing symptom flares associated with exercise.

    AB - Objective: To examine the acute effects of isometric exercise of different intensities on pain perception in individuals with chronic lateral epicondylalgia. Materials and Methods: Participants performed 3 experimental tasks completed in a randomized order on separate days: control (no exercise) and isometric wrist extension (10×15 s) at load 20% below (infrathreshold), and 20% above (suprathreshold) an individual’s pain threshold. Self-reported pain intensity (11-point numeric rating scales), pressure pain threshold, and pain-free grip were assessed by a blinded examiner before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after task performance. Relation analysis between pain ratings and clinical variables, including pain and disability and kinesiophobia was performed. Results: Twenty-four individuals with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia of median 3-month duration participated. Pain intensity during contraction was significantly higher during suprathreshold exercise than infrathreshold exercise (mean difference in numeric rating scale 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.5; P=0.002). Pain intensity during suprathreshold exercise was significantly correlated with pain and disability (R=0.435, P=0.034) and kinesiophobia (R=0.556, P=0.005). Pain intensity was significantly higher immediately after performance of suprathreshold exercise, compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.01) and control (P<0.001) conditions, whereas infrathreshold exercise and control conditions were comparable. Thirty minutes later, pain levels remained significantly higher for suprathreshold exercise compared with infrathreshold exercise (P=0.043). Pressure pain threshold and pain-free grip showed no significant effects of time, condition, or time×condition (P>0.05). Discussion: Individuals with lateral epicondylalgia demonstrated increased pain intensity after an acute bout of isometric exercise performed at an intensity above, but not below, their individual pain threshold. Further investigation is needed to determine whether measurement of an individual’s exercise induced pain threshold may be important in reducing symptom flares associated with exercise.

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    T2 - Clinical Journal of Pain

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