Chronic regional muscular pain in women with precise manipulation work. A study of pain characteristics, muscle function, & impact on daily activities

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Pain characteristics, muscle function and impact on daily activities

were studied in 39 women with chronic regional muscular pain

(RMP). They were all blue-collar workers in work involving

precise manipulations. The main location of the pain was in

the neck-shoulder region. Nineteen age-matched women with

fibromyalgia (FM) were studied in the same way as the RMP

patients. Thirty-seven women with no pain and with the same

age and weight as the RMP patients served as reference group

with respect to muscle strength and endurance.

A follow-up

study was done with respect to pain distribution and other

pain characteristics 20 months after the initial examination.

The findings were of the same nature in the RMP and the FM

groups. The intensity of pain, the lowering of pain threshold

for pressure, and the degree of sleep disturbance were

greater in the FM than in the RMP group. Isometric muscle

strength and static muscular endurance were reduced in both

FM and RMP compared to reference values. The reduction in

strength and endurance was greater in FM than in RMP. Even if

the impact on everyday activities were greater in FM than in

RMP, the impact was substantial in RMP patients also, for

example with regard to work capacity. There were no

transitions from RMP to FM during the 20 months to follow-up.

Three FM patients, however, did not meet the ACR criteria for

FM at follow-up.

Henriksson KG, Backman E, Henriksson C, de Laval JH

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