Background. Differences in pain perception in athletes have recently been highlighted in the literature. Objectives. To compare gender ratings of perceived pain in athletes with low and high agonistic experiences (N = 200) using the Cold Pressor Test (CPT). Methods. A three-way repeated measures ANOVA to assess both the effects of the athletes’ gender and lower vs. higher agonistic experiences in the intensity of perceived pain at the beginning of the cold box hand immersion (L0) and after a 90 s interval (L1). Results. There was a statistically significant interaction effect between the level of the agonistic experience and gender in the two moments: p < 0.001; ηp 2 = 0.266; F(1,49) = 9.771. Simple main effects analysis showed a significative difference for females at L0: F(1,99) = 93.567, p < 0.025, partial η 2 = 0.302) and for males at L1: F(1,99) = 173.420, p < 0.025, partial η2 = 0.666. At the initial moment of CPT, the female athletes showed significantly higher perceived intensity than males, regardless of their experience level. After a 90 s interval, a significantly lower pain perception effect associated with the increased competitive experience of male athletes was observed. Female athletes did not appear to benefit from the experience effect on their pain tolerance. Conclusions. The study confirmed a significant difference in pain perception associated with the athletes’ gender and agonistic experience. Separate explanations related to the pattern of pain inhibition and the acquired reduction in pain sensitivity are reported.

Both Gender and Agonistic Experience Affect Perceived Pain during the Cold Pressor Test

Diotaiuti P.
;
Corrado S.;Mancone S.;Rodio A.;Falese L.;Langiano E.;
2022

Abstract

Background. Differences in pain perception in athletes have recently been highlighted in the literature. Objectives. To compare gender ratings of perceived pain in athletes with low and high agonistic experiences (N = 200) using the Cold Pressor Test (CPT). Methods. A three-way repeated measures ANOVA to assess both the effects of the athletes’ gender and lower vs. higher agonistic experiences in the intensity of perceived pain at the beginning of the cold box hand immersion (L0) and after a 90 s interval (L1). Results. There was a statistically significant interaction effect between the level of the agonistic experience and gender in the two moments: p < 0.001; ηp 2 = 0.266; F(1,49) = 9.771. Simple main effects analysis showed a significative difference for females at L0: F(1,99) = 93.567, p < 0.025, partial η 2 = 0.302) and for males at L1: F(1,99) = 173.420, p < 0.025, partial η2 = 0.666. At the initial moment of CPT, the female athletes showed significantly higher perceived intensity than males, regardless of their experience level. After a 90 s interval, a significantly lower pain perception effect associated with the increased competitive experience of male athletes was observed. Female athletes did not appear to benefit from the experience effect on their pain tolerance. Conclusions. The study confirmed a significant difference in pain perception associated with the athletes’ gender and agonistic experience. Separate explanations related to the pattern of pain inhibition and the acquired reduction in pain sensitivity are reported.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/88023
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