OBJECTIVE: To investigate the perception of pain in tender muscles
of patients with fibromyalgia.
METHODS: Twenty-five women
with fibromyalgia and 25 healthy women were examined. Seven
different pressure intensities were used to palpate a highly
tender muscle and a largely normal muscle. Subjects then
recorded their response to induced pain on a visual analog
scale. The examiner was blinded to each subject’s response.
RESULTS: The stimulus-response function for pressure versus
pain recorded for normal muscle was well described by a power
function. For highly tender muscle, the stimulus-response
function was displaced toward lower pressures and, more
importantly, it was linear, i.e., qualitatively different
from that of normal muscle.
CONCLUSION: This study
demonstrates that nociception is qualitatively altered in
patients with fibromyalgia, which is consistent with recent
findings in other patients with tender muscles. The data
strongly indicate that fibromyalgic pain, at least in part,
is due to aberrant central pain mechanisms.
MCM: Used painful palpation and subjective VAS for pain
intensity in 25 females w FM compared to controls. Concludes
… “nociception is qualitatively altered in pts w FM, which
is consistent w recent findings in other pts w tender muscles.
The data strongly indicate that fibromyalgic pain, at least
in part, is due to aberrant pain mechanisms.”