Effects of Statins on Skeletal Muscle: A Perspective for Physical Therapists
Three articles on PainSci cite Stasi 2010: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain 2. 35 Surprising Causes of Pain 3. Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements for Pain & Healing
PainSci notes on Stasi 2010:
“The side effects most commonly associated with statin use involve muscle cramping, soreness, fatigue, weakness, and, in rare cases, rapid muscle breakdown that can lead to death.” This articles reviews the physiology of these effects, the clinical presentation, testing methods, and proposes “a role for the physical therapist for the screening and detection of suspected statin-induced skeletal muscle myopathy.”
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.
Hyperlipidemia, also known as high blood cholesterol, is a cardiovascular health risk that affects more than one third of adults in the United States. Statins are commonly prescribed and successful lipid-lowering medications that reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease. The side effects most commonly associated with statin use involve muscle cramping, soreness, fatigue, weakness, and, in rare cases, rapid muscle breakdown that can lead to death. Often, these side effects can become apparent during or after strenuous bouts of exercise. Although the mechanisms by which statins affect muscle performance are not entirely understood, recent research has identified some common causative factors. As musculoskeletal and exercise specialists, physical therapists have a unique opportunity to identify adverse effects related to statin use. The purposes of this perspective article are: (1) to review the metabolism and mechanisms of actions of statins, (2) to discuss the effects of statins on skeletal muscle function, (3) to detail the clinical presentation of statin-induced myopathies, (4) to outline the testing used to diagnose statin-induced myopathies, and (5) to introduce a role for the physical therapist for the screening and detection of suspected statin-induced skeletal muscle myopathy.
- “Statin Therapy: Risks vs Benefit: An Expert Interview With Eliot A. Brinton, MD,” Linda Brookes, Medscape CME.
- “A systematic review of statin-induced muscle problems in clinical trials,” Ganga et al, Am Heart J, 2014.
- “Statin-Associated Autoimmune Myopathy,” Mammen, New England Journal of Medicine, 2016.
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