Visual analog scale and pressure pain threshold for delayed onset muscle soreness assessment

Lau, Wing Yan, Muthalib, Makii, & Nosaka, Kazunori (2013) Visual analog scale and pressure pain threshold for delayed onset muscle soreness assessment. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, 21(4), pp. 320-326.

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Objectives: To investigate the relationship between two assessments to quantify delayed onset muscle soreness [DOMS]: visual analog scale [VAS] and pressure pain threshold [PPT].

Methods: Thirty-one healthy young men [25.8 ± 5.5 years] performed 10 sets of six maximal eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors with their non-dominant arm. Before and one to four days after the exercise, muscle pain perceived upon palpation of the biceps brachii at three sites [5, 9 and 13 cm above the elbow crease] was assessed by VAS with a 100 mm line [0 = no pain, 100 = extremely painful], and PPT of the same sites was determined by an algometer. Changes in VAS and PPT over time were compared amongst three sites by a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance, and the relationship between VAS and PPT was analyzed using a Pearson product-moment correlation.

Results: The VAS increased one to four days after exercise and peaked two days post-exercise, while the PPT decreased most one day post-exercise and remained below baseline for four days following exercise [p < 0.05]. No significant difference among the three sites was found for VAS [p = 0.62] or PPT [p = 0.45]. The magnitude of change in VAS did not significantly correlate with that of PPT [r = −0.20, p = 0.28].

Conclusion: These results suggest that the level of muscle pain is not region-specific, at least among the three sites investigated in the study, and VAS and PPT provide different information about DOMS, indicating that VAS and PPT represent different aspects of pain.

Impact and interest:

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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 67686
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Algometer, eccentric exercise, elbow flexors, muscle damage, palpation
DOI: 10.3109/10582452.2013.848967
ISSN: 1058-2452
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 24 Feb 2014 00:08
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2014 23:41

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