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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-312
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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