A randomized, single-blind, controlled trial comparing three noninvasive pain control techniques in subcutaneous injections revealed that while cold, topical anesthetics and vibration were all effective, vibration offers the greatest pain relief.
For their study, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (January 2021), authors Enrique Salmerón-González, PhD, MD, et al, evaluated the efficacy of three noninvasive analgesic techniques (cold, anesthetic cream and vibration) during subcutaneous forehead injections in 100 healthy volunteers.
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Each patient received four forehead injections of 0.1 mL physiological saline through 29G needles following the application of either cold packs, anesthetic cream, vibration or no pain control (control treatment) to each injection site. The authors evaluated the level of pain control through a patient survey that included a visual analog scale for pain measurements.
They found that all analgesic methods demonstrated better pain control than the no-treatment arm, and vibration performed better than cold and anesthetic cream. No differences were observed between cold and anesthetic cream. Males demonstrated higher average amounts of pain per injection compared to females.