Supraspinal pain modulation may explain hypertensive hypoalgesia. We compared nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) thresholds and pain during rest and computer game play in hypertensives and normotensives (Experiment 1) and normotensives with and without hypertensive parents (Experiment 2). The game was selected to modulate activity in pain pathways. NFR thresholds did not differ between groups during rest or game play. Pain ratings never differed between hypertensives and normotensives, whereas individuals with hypertensive parents reported less pain during the first two NFR assessments, compared to those without. NFR thresholds and pain were reduced by game play compared to rest. The failure of game play to differentially modulate NFR thresholds or associated pain reports between groups argues against enhanced supraspinal modulation of nociception and pain in hypertensives and those at increased risk for hypertension.
- Nociceptive flexion reflex threshold
- Risk for hypertension
- Supraspinal pain modulation