Algometer reliability in measuring pain pressure threshold over normal spinal muscles to allow quantification of anti-nociceptive treatment effects

Louise Potter, Christopher McCarthy and Jacqueline Oldham

The objective of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of using algometry to quantify pressure pain thrshold (PPT).  Intra-rater PPT assessment by algometry over the belly of four pairs of spinal muscles (iliocostalis, multifidus, gluteus maximus and trapezius) in a healthy sample was analysed.  Assessments revealed good within-session reliability and good between-session reliability, with a moderate measurement error and no systematic difference within-session or between-sessions.  The authors conclude that PPT assessment by algometry is a reliable  measure of a subject's pain. This study provides further validity to the use of this measure as a suitable, convenient method of monitoring treatment effects.

International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2006, Pages 113-119

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