Examining the relationship between endogenous pain modulation capacity and endurance exercise performance

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Abstract

The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between pain modulatory capacity and endurance exercise performance. Twenty-seven recreationally active males between 18 and 35 years of age participated in the study. Pain modulation was assessed by examining the inhibitory effect of a noxious conditioning stimulus (cuff occlusion) on the perceived intensity of a second noxious stimulus (pressure pain threshold). Participants completed two, maximal voluntary contractions followed by a submaximal endurance time task. Both performance tasks involved an isometric contraction of the non-dominant leg. The main analysis uncovered a correlation between pain modulatory capacity and performance on the endurance time task (r = −.425, p =.027), such that those with elevated pain modulation produced longer endurance times. These findings are the first to demonstrate the relationship between pain modulation responses and endurance exercise performance.

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Flood, A., Waddington, G., & Cathcart, S. (2017). Examining the relationship between endogenous pain modulation capacity and endurance exercise performance. Research in Sports Medicine, 25(3), 300–312. https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2017.1314291

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