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Open Access Research article

Vibratory stimulation increase the electro-cutaneous sensory detection and pain thresholds in women but not in men

Lisbeth Dahlin1, Irene Lund2, Thomas Lundeberg3 and Carl Molander14*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health Sciences, division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

2 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

3 Rehabilitation Medicine University Clinic Stockholm, Danderyds Hospital, SE-182 88 Stockholm, Sweden

4 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital. SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-20

Published: 23 May 2006



Vibratory stimulation is a potential method for the treatment of pain.


The effect of vibration on the forearm on detection (DT) and pain thresholds (PT) induced by electro-cutaneous stimulation were investigated in healthy male and female volunteers.


Women have lower baseline detection and pain thresholds as compared to men. Furthermore, women but not men report increased detection and pain thresholds after vibratory stimulation.


Our findings indicate the potential usefulness of vibratory stimulation for pain treatment, and that gender differences should be considered in future evaluation of the method.