This study sought to find the difference in pain sensitivity and psychological factors between men and women, and how an intervention such as stretching could generate effects of hypoalgesia. The primary aim of this study was to compare the difference in A-delta and C-fiber mediated thermal pain between sexes. The second aim was to compare pain-related psychological factors. Finally, the third aim was to compare changes in pressure pain threshold between men and women during the stretching intervention. Prior studies have already examined the relationship between stretching and conditioned pain modulation which was utilized towards this research. However, they have not included stretching to the point of pain, and conditioned pain modulation is often dependent on acquiring hypoalgesia through induction of pain. So, this study hypothesizes that stretching to the point of pain may induce effects of hypoalgesia in equal amount of higher than conditioned pain modulation. By conducting this research more information was acquired towards understanding the difference between sexes towards pain sensitivity and induction of hypoalgesia effects. Results of this study indicated that sex differences did not differ as much in response to the interventions, and psychological factors were deemed insignificant as well between sexes. However, looking at the responses of the total sample, after four minutes of stretching low intensity stretch was closely associated to hypoalgesia effects of the cold-water immersion in comparison to medium intensity stretch. In addition to that, inhibitory effects during cold-water immersion task displayed a significant association with higher heat pain threshold to the forearm and trapezius. As for psychological factors, in general, individuals with lower pain-anxiety had greater hypoalgesia effects to the cold-water immersion task.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Wilson, Abigail


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences

Degree Program

Health Sciences



Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date