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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 May;74(5):526-30.

Electronic pressure algometry of deep pain in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


Deep pressure pain threshold (PPT) and pressure pain tolerance (PPtol) were measured by pressure algometry at the mastoid processes, external malleoli, and sternum in 24 healthy volunteers. The algometer consisted of a force displacement transducer with a 0.25 cm2 pressure tip linked to a recorder. The rate of force application was approximately 1kg/sec/0.25cm2. High intersubject variation was noted at all sites for both PPT and PPtol. Mean PPT and PPtol values at the sternum were 5.2kg +/- 2.1 and 8.1kg +/- 2.4, respectively, and significantly higher than at the other sites. PTT did not differ significantly between the sexes or between dominant and nondominant sides. PPtol, on the other hand, was lower in the women, but significantly so only at the malleoli. On repeat examination, comparison between the mean values at each site showed no statistical differences in any instance. Pressure algometry, as used in this study in healthy subjects, proved a reliable technique for the estimation of deep PPT and PPtol values. It may possibly serve for screening the response to experimental pain in various groups of pain patients.

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