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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


MONTENEGRO, M.L.L.S. et al. Pain pressure threshold algometry of the abdominal wall in healthy women. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.7, pp.578-582.  Epub Apr 26, 2012 ISSN 1414-431X.

The objective of this study was to determine the inter- and intra-examiner reliability of pain pressure threshold algometry at various points of the abdominal wall of healthy women. Twenty-one healthy women in menacme with a mean age of 28 ± 5.4 years (range: 19-39 years) were included. All volunteers had regular menstrual cycles (27-33 days) and were right-handed and, to the best of our knowledge, none were taking medications at the time of testing. Women with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or other mood disturbances were excluded. Women with previous abdominal surgery, any pain condition or any evidence of inflammation, hypertension, smoking, alcoholism, or inflammatory disease were also excluded. Pain perception thresholds were assessed with a pressure algometer with digital traction and compression and a measuring capacity for 5 kg. All points were localized by palpation and marked with a felt-tipped pen and each individual was evaluated over a period of 2 days in two consecutive sessions, each session consisting of a set of 14 point measurements repeated twice by two examiners in random sequence. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean pain threshold obtained by the two examiners on 2 diferent days (examiner A: P = 1.00; examiner B: P = 0.75; Wilcoxon matched pairs test). There was excellent/good agreement between examiners for all days and all points. Our results have established baseline values to which future researchers will be able to refer. They show that pressure algometry is a reliable measure for pain perception in the abdominal wall of healthy women.

Keywords : Chronic pelvic pain; Pain pressure threshold; Myofascial pain syndrome; Reliability; Abdominal muscles.

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