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Analgesia to pressure–pain develops in the ipsilateral forehead after high- and low-frequency electrical stimulation of the forearm

Vo, L. and Drummond, P.D. (2014) Analgesia to pressure–pain develops in the ipsilateral forehead after high- and low-frequency electrical stimulation of the forearm. Experimental Brain Research, 232 (2). pp. 685-693.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-013-3776-x
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Abstract

In healthy participants, high-frequency electrical stimulation of the forearm not only evokes local hyperalgesia but also inhibits sensitivity to pressure–pain in the ipsilateral forehead, possibly due to activation of ipsilateral inhibitory pain modulation processes. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high- and low-frequency electrical stimulation of the forearm on sensitivity to pressure–pain in the ipsilateral forehead, as inhibitory pain modulation may be stronger after low- than high-frequency electrical stimulation. Before and after high- and low-frequency electrical stimulation, sensitivity to heat and to blunt and sharp stimuli was assessed at and adjacent to the electrically conditioned site in the forearm. In addition, sensitivity to blunt pressure was measured bilaterally in the forehead. Pain was more intense after high- than low-frequency electrical stimulation and was followed by primary and secondary hyperalgesia to mechanical stimulation after high- but not low-frequency electrical stimulation. Nevertheless, sensitivity to pressure–pain decreased to the same extent in the ipsilateral forehead after both forms of electrical stimulation. This decrease was associated with heightened sensitivity to pressure–pain at the electrically conditioned forearm site and with diminished sensitivity to heat around this site. These findings suggest that sensitisation of pressure-sensitive nociceptive afferents at the site of electrical stimulation is associated with generation of an ipsilateral pain-inhibitory process. This ipsilateral pain-inhibitory process may decrease sensitivity to pressure–pain in the ipsilateral forehead and suppress secondary hyperalgesia to heat

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21283
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