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Muscle characteristics of persons with fibromyalgia syndrome - Source: NeuroRehabilitation, Issue 3, 2008

  [ 15 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Adejoke B Jegede, et al. • www.ProHealth.com • June 19, 2008


Purpose: To explore agonist and antagonist muscle characteristics, depression and physical functioning of patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).[Agonist muscle causes movement in a joint by contracting (e.g., biceps). Antagonist muscle is responsible for returning the joint to its initial position (e.g., triceps).]

Method: Individuals with FMS (N=34) and chronic pain (N=36) were recruited from a chronic pain program.

Normal controls (N=37) were recruited from the general community.

Measures: Demographic data (age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, and employment status), self-report physical and psychological functioning, current level of pain, level of depression, and agonist and antagonist muscle activity (SCM, Biceps/triceps, Forearm flexor/extensor, Lower leg tibialis anterior/gastrocnemius) were measured with sEMG. [Surface electromyography is computer-analyzed measurement of muscle/muscle group electrical activity. Used to evaluate the functional status of muscles for neuromuscular training and rehab.]

Results: There was a significant difference in upper arm muscle contra-activation between the FMS patients and normal controls but not between the non-FMS chronic pain patients and normal controls.

When compared to normal controls, the FMS group reported more depression and a higher level of physical functioning problems, but it was not significantly different from the mean score for the non-FMS chronic pain group.

Problems with physical functioning and depression did not predict strength of contra-activation in the upper arm muscle.

Conclusion: These findings suggest:

  • Presence of unusual muscle activity occurring in the bicep muscle of FMS and non-FMS chronic pain patients,
  • Which establishes a possible link between muscle dysfunction, mood and pain.

Source: NeuroRehabilitation. Issue 3, 2008; 23(3):217-30. PMID: 18560138, by Jegede AB, Gilbert C, Tulkin SR. Alliant International University, San Francisco; Kaiser Permanente Chronic Pain Clinic, San Francisco, USA.





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Article Comments Post a Comment

AB Jegede. / Study outcome.
Posted by: Anne_at_FibroFix
Jun 19, 2008
AB Jegede. / Study outcome. Your readers should be aware that Adejoke B. Jegede is not an M.D., but a PhD at the California School of Professional Psychology. And a fairly recent one at that - Class of 2006. In Fibromyalgia, lower arms and hands are disabled by weakness and pain because the cells in them are not being nourished, rinsed and lubricated by serous fluid. In FMS this critical fluid is too thick. The upper arms still work because the arteries there are large enough to carry the overly-thick serous fluid.
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