Balbierz JM, Petajan JH, Alder SC, Vlach SA. Differences in pain perception in women using concentric and monopolar needles. Objective: To examine pain perception using concentric needle electrodes and monopolar needle electrodes in an all-female study group without underlying hand or arm pain complaints, using study subjects as their own controls. Design: Prospective randomized study. Two muscles-the biceps and abductor pollicis brevis (APB)-were examined using both a concentric needle electrode and a monopolar needle electrode. Setting: University community. Participants: Eighty healthy female employees at the University of Utah and Primary Children's Hospital were enrolled. All completed the study. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Pain scores. Posttest verbal analog pain scale (0-10) measures were obtained after each muscle was studied. A subset of subjects (n=51) was asked to identify needle preference after completion of the study. Results: There was no significant difference in mean pain scores between the concentric needle electrode and the monopolar needle electrode (3.06 and 3.10, respectively; P=.803). The APB muscle was significantly more painful than the biceps muscle with both needle types (mean pain scores, 3.92 and 2.24, respectively; P<.001). In the subset of subjects asked to identify needle preference after completion of the study, 21 chose a concentric needle electrode and 30 a monopolar needle electrode. This difference was not statistically significant. However, verbal analog pain scores were lower with the needle preferred by each subject (P<.20). Conclusions: There is no significant difference in mean pain scores reported between a concentric needle electrode and a monopolar needle electrode. Subjects were clear on the needle they preferred, and the pain scores reported for the less painful needle were lower than those for the other needle. © 2006 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Balbierz, J. M., Petajan, J. H., Alder, S. C., & Vlach, S. A. (2006). Differences in Pain Perception in Women Using Concentric and Monopolar Needles. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(10), 1403–1406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2006.06.017