Shepanski, M. A., Hoffman, M. D., Ruble, S. B., Valic, Z., Buckwalter, J. B., & Clifford, P. S. (2000). Effect of exercise duration on exercise analgesia. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 196.

Previous research suggested that aerobic exercise temporarily reduces the perception of pain to a constant stimulus. This investigation attempted to discover how much time was needed to produce this effect.

Ss (N = 10) performed exercise and were subjected to a 2-min pressure pain stimulation of the non-dominant index finger. Pain ratings were taken at 10-s intervals during the pain stimulation. Exercise bouts of 10 and 30 minutes at 75% VO2max were performed.

The longer duration exercise (30-min) significantly decreased pain ratings at five minutes post-exercise but not at 30 minutes. An exercise duration of greater than 10 minutes is required to reduce the perception of pain. Perceptions recover within 30 minutes of exercise cessation.

Implication. Aerobic exercise of more than 10 minutes reduces pain perception.

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