Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background and Aims: The acute analgesic effect of exercise is assumed to be mediated by activation of descending inhibitory pathways. We aimed to explore the direct effect of a single exercise session on the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) in healthy subjects, and to specify the exercise requirements for reaching the analgesic effect.

Methods: Twenty-four healthy males (27.9±2.4 years), who completed a cycle ergometer maximum heart rate (MHR) test, were randomly assigned to aerobic-continuous (70% MHR) and -interval (85% MHR) exercises on separate days. CPM test was obtained before and after each exercise. The ‘test-stimulus’, a pressure-pain threshold (PPT) on the extensor carpi radialis, was tested before and during simultaneous immersion of the contralateral hand in 46.5°C water bath (conditioning-stimulus). Analyses performed on: (i) the whole group, (ii) sub-groups comprised of CPM ‘positive responders’ and negative responders' (increase or decrease in PPT, respectively), based on the individual magnitude of CPM prior to the exercise.

Results: No change in CPM magnitude was demonstrated in whole group analysis following either type of exercise. However, while the CPM ‘positive responders’ did not gain an additional CPM effect following exercise, CPM ‘negative responders’ demonstrated increased efficiency of CPM following continuous (p = 0.017) and interval exercises (p = 0.007) with a stronger effectiveness in the former.

Conclusions: Subjects with less efficient CPM gain more from the exercise-induced analgesic effects mediated via the inhibitory pathways, with a priority to the continuous exercise at 70% MHR. These findings emphasize the individual's initial pain modulation status for achieving analgesia though aerobic exercises
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2011


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