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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2016 Feb;69(1):27-31. English. Randomized Controlled Trial.
Kumar S , Gautam SK , Gupta D , Agarwal A , Dhirraj S , Khuba S .
Department of Anesthesiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

BACKGROUND: Valsalva maneuver reduces pain by activating sinoaortic baroreceptor reflex arc. We planned this study to evaluate the role of valsalva in attenuating spinal needle-puncture pain. METHODS: Ninety American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade I and II enrolled patients undergoing elective surgery were randomized into 3 groups of 30 each. Group I (Control): didn't blow; group II (Distraction): patients blew into rubber tube; Group III (Valsalva): blew into sphygmomanometer tube and raise mercury column up to 30 mmHg for at least 20 seconds. During above procedures, spinal puncture was performed with 25-gauge spinal needle. RESULTS: Eighty-two patient data were analyzed. Incidence of spinal puncture pain was reduced to 10% (3 of 27) in Valsalva group as compared to 100% (28 of 28 in control group and 27 of 27 in Distraction group) observed in other two groups (P < 0.05). Severity of lumbar puncture pain as assessed by visual analog scale (0-10; where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst imaginable pain) presented as Median (Interquartile range) were significantly reduced in the Valsalva group (0.0 [0.0] as compared to other 2 groups 2.0 [0.0] in the Distraction group and 3.0 [0.8] in Control group) (P < 0.05). Regarding time taken by CSF to fill spinal needle hub, there was no difference among the three groups (P > 0.05). None patient of all groups had post dural puncture headache (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Valsalva can be performed routinely in ASA I and II patients undergoing spinal anesthesia as it is safe, painless and non-pharmacological method of pain attenuation.

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