Body regional heat pain thresholds using the method of limit and level: a comparative study
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The purpose of this study was to compare cutaneous heat pain thresholds using the method of limit and level.
Sixteen young males (23.2 ± 3.2 year, 174.9 ± 4.9 cm, and 70.1 ± 8.6 kg) participated in this study. The thermode temperature increased at a constant rate of 0.1 °C s−1 from 33 °C for the method of limit, whereas the method of level consisted of 3 s heat pulses increasing from 44 °C to 50 °C in 100 s separated by 5 s intervals. All measurements were conducted on 14 body regions (the forehead, neck, chest, abdomen, upper back, upper arm, forearm, waist, hand, palm, thigh, calf, foot, and sole) in 28 °C, 35% relative humidity.
The results are as follows. Heat pain thresholds were on average 3.2 ± 2.1 °C higher for the method of level than for the method of limit (P < 0.05). Second, the correlation coefficient between values by two methods was 0.819 (P < 0.01). Third, lower body regions (thigh, calf, and sole) had higher heat pain thresholds than upper body regions (chest) by the method of level only (P < 0.05). Fourth, body regional subcutaneous fat thickness showed no relationship with heat pain thresholds except the upper arm.
These results indicated that cutaneous heat pain thresholds vary based on the type of heat stimuli and body regions. The method of limit could be applied for predicting accumulated thermal pain starting from moderate heat, whereas the method of level may be applicable for predicting acute heat pain to flames or high heat.
KeywordsHeat pain thresholds Method of limit Method of level Subcutaneous fat thickness Body regional difference Burn
American Society for Testing and Materials
International Organization for Standardization
Transient receptor potential (TRP)
This research was supported by Nano·Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (No. 2016M3A7B4910) and by the Fire Fighting Safety and 119 Rescue Technology Research and Development Program funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security (‘MPSS-Fire Fighting Safety-2015-76’). We thank the subjects for their participation and Jung-Mi Ha, Wojin Joe, and Andrew Gorski for their technical supports.
Its publication has been approved by all co-authors. All authors have contributed to the planning, preparation, data collection, analysis, and the writing of this manuscript, such that their contributions satisfy all the requirements of authorship.
Complaince with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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