No effect of skin anesthesia on pain intensity ratings associated with elicitation of the H-reflex in the soleus muscle

Robert W Motl, Patrick J. O'Connor, B. David Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This experiment evaluated the effect of a topical anesthetic on the intensity of pain experienced in response to elicitation of the H-reflex in the soleus muscle. Ten college-aged males provided ratings of pain intensity in response to elicitation of the H-reflex before and after topical application of skin anesthetic (5g EMLA) or placebo cream at the site of electrical stimulation in the popliteal fossa. The results indicated that (1) pain was experienced in association with the elicitation of both the H-wave and M-wave components of the H-reflex, and the skin anesthetic did not impact the pain intensity ratings; and (2) the skin anesthetic did not impact the amplitude of the H-wave, M-wave, and H/M Ratio recorded in the soleus muscle. The authors conclude that elicitation of the H-reflex in the soleus muscle results in low intensity pain, and the pain appears to be caused by activation of subcutaneous nociceptive afferent fibers of the tibial nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1560
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Volume114
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Keywords

  • EMLA
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Hoffmann reflex
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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