Evaluation of facial electromyographic pain responses in healthy participants

Ricardo Governo, Ben Eden-Green, Thomas Richard Dawes, Ifigeneia Mavridou, Julian Giles, Claire Rosten, Joe Rennie-Taylor, Charles Nduka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aim: Assessing pain perception through self-reports may not be possible in some patients, for example, sedated. Our group considered if facial electromyography (fEMG) could provide a useful alternative, by testing on healthy participants subjected to experimental pain. Materials & methods: Activity of four facial muscles was recorded using fEMG alongside self-reported pain scores and physiological parameters. Results: The pain stimulus elicited significant activity on all facial muscles of interest as well as increases in heart rate. Activity from two of the facial muscles correlated significantly against pain intensity. Conclusion: Pain perception can be assessed through fEMG on healthy participants. We believe that this model would be valuable to clinicians that need to diagnose pain perception in circumstances where verbal reporting is not possible.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPain Management
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


    • pain
    • fEMG
    • facial muscles
    • hand surgery


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