Correlations of pain threshold time ranging from 10 to 590 s versus constant heat flow were determined on the thenar eminence (the bulge at the base of the thumb) of three subjects. These data show that hands behave thermically as a semi-infinite solid in the range 25 to 590 s. The method consists of assessing the pain threshold time from the temperature rise which a semi-infinite solid would experience versus time. In the first version of the method the skin temperature rise is calculated from the recording of heat flow through the sample versus time. In the second version, the surface temperature rise of a block of nylon is measured. The skin temperature rise is 1.48 times less than the temperature rise of the block. Pain threshold was assumed to be reached at a skin temperature rise equal to 12°C. Both versions allow pain threshold time to be assessed directly in the range of 25 to 590 s. For a time less than 25 s, corrections using the correlation of STOLL and GREENE are necessary.
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