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Logo of brjsmedBritish Journal of Sports MedicineVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Br J Sports Med. 1998 March; 32(1): 20–24.
PMCID: PMC1756063

Perception of pain after resistance exercise


OBJECTIVES: The main objective was to assess the influence of resistance exercise on pain threshold and pain ratings. Secondary objectives included measuring state anxiety, body awareness, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate responses. METHODS: Pressure (3 kg force) was applied to the middle digit of the left hand for two minutes using a Forgione-Barber pain stimulator before and after (five minute and 15 minutes) resistance exercise and quiet rest. Resistance exercise consisted of 45 minutes of lifting three sets of 10 repetitions at 75% of an individual's one repetition maximum. Quiet rest consisted of sitting quietly in a room free from distractions. RESULTS: Data were analysed by repeated measures analysis of variance for multifactor experiments. Pain threshold was significantly higher (p<0.05) and pain ratings were significantly lower (p<0.05) five minutes after resistance exercise. Changes in pain perception were accompanied by changes in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and body awareness after exercise. CONCLUSION: A single bout of resistance exercise is capable of modifying the sensation of experimentally induced pain.

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