Exteroceptive suppression of temporalis muscle activity in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), tension-type headache, & normal controls.

Changes of the second suppressive period (ES2) of the exteroceptive

suppression of the temporalis muscle activity are found in

patients with chronic tension-type headache (TTH) and are

suggested to reflect an abnormal endogenous pain control

system. We investigated whether similar changes are found in

patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) that is also

believed to result from disturbed central pain processing. The

ES2 values of 27 patients with FMS were compared with those of

18 patients with TTH and 40 healthy volunteers. The duration

of ES2 (+/-SD) in FMS patients was 30.6+/-7.5 ms and was not

significantly different from the control group (33.1+/-7.8

ms), whereas it was significantly shortened in TTH patients

(22.9+/-11.5 ms). Our results indicate that, despite similar

concepts on the pathophysiology of the two chronic pain

disorders, there are no comparable changes of this brain stem

reflex activity in FMS.

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