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Int J Med Sci. 2011 Feb 16;8(2):156-60.

Efficacy of the valsalva maneuver on needle projection pain and hemodynamic responses during spinal puncture.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Dr Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran.


This study evaluated the efficacy of the valsalva maneuver that can induce baroreceptor activation and nociception, on needle projection pain and hemodynamic responses associated with spinal puncture. Ninety adults, ASA physical status I and II undergoing elective surgeries were included. Patients were randomized into three equal groups. Group I (C): control; Group II (B): ball; pressed a rubber ball (attention-diverting method); Group III (V): valsalva; blew into sphygmomanometer tubing and hold the mercury column up to 30 mm Hg for a period of at least 20s. Spinal needle projection pain was graded using numeric rating scale (NRS): 1-10, where scales of 1-3 were rated as mild, 4-6 as moderate, and >6 as severe. Blood pressure and heart rate, five minutes before the procedure, during the spinal puncture and first and third minutes after that, were also recorded. Significant reduction in NRS was observed in the valsalva group compared with the control and the ball groups (p=0.001). There were statistical but no significant clinical differences in mean arterial blood pressure and heart rates between the study groups (P=0.008 and P=0.016 respectively). In conclusion valsalva maneuver can decrease the skin puncture pain associated with spinal needle projection while observing hemodynamic changes.


Hemodynamic response; Lumbar puncture; Pain; Spinal anesthesia; Valsalva maneuver.

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