One article on PainSci cites Birznieks 2008: Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Animal studies have shown that noxious inputs onto gamma-motoneurons can cause an increase in the activity of muscle spindles, and it has been proposed that this causes a fusimotor-driven increase in muscle stiffness that is believed to underlie many chronic pain syndromes. To test whether experimental pain also acts on the fusimotor system in humans, unitary recordings were made from 19 spindle afferents (12 Ia, 7 II) located in the ankle and toe extensors or peronei muscles of awake human subjects. Muscle pain was induced by bolus intramuscular injection of 0.5 ml 5% hypertonic saline into tibialis anterior (TA); skin pain was induced by 0.2 ml injection into the overlying skin. Changes in fusimotor drive to the muscle spindles were inferred from changes in the mean discharge frequency and discharge variability of spindle endings in relaxed muscle. During muscle pain no afferents increased their discharge activity: seven afferents (5 Ia, 2 II) showed a decrease and six (4 Ia, 2 II) afferents were not affected. During skin pain of 13 afferents discharge rate increased in one (Ia) and decreased in two (1 Ia, 1 II). On average, the overall discharge rate decreased during muscle pain by 6.1% (P < 0.05; Wilcoxon), but remained essentially the same during skin pain. There was no detectable correlation between subjective pain level and the small change in discharge rate of muscle spindles. Irrespective of the type of pain, discharge variability parameters were not influenced (P> 0.05; Wilcoxon). We conclude that, contrary to the ‘vicious cycle’ hypothesis, acute activation of muscle or skin nociceptors does not cause a reflex increase in fusimotor drive in humans. Rather, our results are more aligned with the pain adaptation model, based on clinical studies predicting pain-induced reductions of agonist muscle activity.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.