Offset analgesia is increased intra-orally

Tibor M. Szikszay*, Juliette L.M. Lévénez, Wacław M. Adamczyk, Gabriela F. Carvalho, Kerstin Luedtke

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Offset analgesia (OA) is commonly used to quantify endogenous pain inhibition. However, the potential role of afferent inputs and the subsequent peripheral factors from different body areas on the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Objectives: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the magnitude of OA in four different body areas representing (a) glabrous and non-glabrous skin, (b) trigeminal and extra-trigeminal areas, and (c) intra- and extra-oral tissue. Methods: OA was assessed at the oral mucosa of the lower lip, the skin of the cheek, the forearm and the palm of the hand in 32 healthy and pain-free participants. OA testing included two trials: (1) a constant trial (30 s of constant heat stimulation at an individualised temperature of Pain50 [pain intensity of 50 out of 100]) and (2) an offset trial (10 s of individualised Pain50, followed by 5 s at Pain50 + 1°C and 15 s at Pain50). Participants continuously rated their pain during each trial with a computerised visual analogue scale. Results: A significant OA response was recorded at the oral mucosa (p <.001, d = 1.24), the cheek (p <.001, d = 0.84) and the forearm (p <.001, d = 1.04), but not at the palm (p =.19, d = 0.24). Significant differences were shown for OA recorded at the cheek versus the mucosa (p =.02), and between palm and mucosa (p =.007), but not between the remaining areas (p >.05). Conclusion: This study suggests that intra-oral endogenous pain inhibition assessed with OA is enhanced and supports the role of peripheral mechanisms contributing to the OA response.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)993-1001
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-03 Experimental and Theoretical Neurosciences of Networks
  • 206-05 Experimental Models for Investigating Diseases of the Nervous System

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