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Short-term effect of glucocorticoid injection into the superficial masseter muscle of patients with chronic myalgia: a comparison between fibromyalgia (FM) & localized myalgia

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By Ernberg M, Hedenberg-Magnusson B, Alstergren P, Kopp S • www.ProHealth.com • March 15, 1997


The aim of this study was to investigate whether the treatment
effect of intramuscular glucocorticoid injection differs
between patients with fibromyalgia and those with localized
myalgia of the masseter muscle concerning pain, tenderness to
digital palpation, pressure pain threshold, pressure pain
tolerance level, maximum voluntary occlusal force, or
intramuscular temperature.

Twenty-five patients with fibromyalgia and 25 patients
with localized myalgia of the masseter muscle were first
asked to assess their pain on a visual analogue scale;
afterward, a routine clinical examination, including tenderness
to digital palpation, was performed. For each patient, the pressure
pain threshold, pressure pain tolerance level, and maximum
voluntary occlusal force, as well as the intramuscular temperature,
were recorded. Finally each patient received an injection of
glucocorticoid. The examination and glucocorticoid treatment
were repeated after approximately 2 weeks, and a follow-up was
performed after another 5 weeks.

In the fibromyalgia group, there was a reduced tenderness to
digital palpation in response to the treatment. The localized
myalgia group responded with a general improvement of symptoms
as well as a significant reduction of pain intensity and tenderness to
digital palpation. The results of this study indicate that
patients with fibromyalgia and localized myalgia in many
respects show a similar response to local glucocorticoid
treatment.




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