Deakin University

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The Interaction Between Psychosocial Factors and Exercise-Induced Hypoalgesia in Pain-Free Nurses

journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-06, 01:08 authored by K Johnsen, Patrick OwenPatrick Owen, Scott Tagliaferri, J Van Oosterwijck, BM Fitzgibbon, JJ Ford, Daniel BelavyDaniel Belavy, Clint MillerClint Miller
Purpose: This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether psychosocial factors were predictive for exercise-induced hypoal-gesia (EIH) in pain-free adults. Methods: A sample of 38 pain-free nurses with a mean (SD) age of 26 (6) years were included in this study. Participants completed psychosocial questionnaires prior to physical tests. Pressure pain threshold (PPT) was assessed bilaterally at the calves (local), lower back (semi-local) and forearm (remote) before and immediately after a maximal graded cycling exercise test. Separate linear mixed effects models were used to determine change in PPT before and after cycling exercise (EIH). Multiple linear regression for all psychosocial variables and best subset regression was used to identify predictors of EIH at all locations. Results: The relative mean increase in PPT at the forearm, lumbar, calf, and globally (all sites pooled) was 6.0% (p<0.001), 10.1% (p<0.001), 13.9% (p<0.001), and 10.2% (p=0.013), respectively. Separate best subset multiple linear regression models at the forearm (predictors; Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) total), lumbar (predictors; MSPSS total, Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) total, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) depression), calf (predictors; MSPSS friends, PCS total), and global (predictors; MSPSS friends, PCS total) accounted for 7.5% (p=0.053), 13% (p=0.052), 24% (p=0.003), and 17% (p=0.015) of the variance, respectively. Conclusion: These findings confirm that cycling exercise produced EIH in young nurses and provided preliminary evidence to support the interaction between perceived social support, pain catastrophizing and EIH. Further investigation is required to better understand psychological and social factors that mediate EIH on a larger sample of adults at high risk of developing chronic musculoskeletal pain.



Journal of Pain Research






New Zealand







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal


Informa UK Limited