Reliability of the nociceptive flexor reflex (RIII) threshold and association with Pain threshold

Peter Micalos, Eric Drinkwater, Jack Cannon, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Francesco Marino

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of the RIII reflex threshold and Pain threshold in three repeated trials using electrocutaneous stimuli. Each trial was separated by a mean of 4.3 +/- 2.9 days (between-trials) and included two repeated measurements (within-trial) of the RIII reflex threshold (RIII-T) and the Pain threshold (PT) separated by 20 min. The participants were 14 healthy males (mean age +/- SD, 23.5 +/- 5.3 years). There was a significant difference between the RIII-T and PT. The reliability of the RIII-T and PT shows a between-trials coefficient of variance (CV(SEM)) of 16.1 and 16.9%, respectively. The within-trial CV(SEM) for RIII-T and PT was 5.4 and 4.3%, respectively. There was a significant correlation between the RIII-T threshold and PT. The parallel association and correlation of the RIII-T with the PT suggests that the RIII-T is valid in experimental pain studies under standardised resting conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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