Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Muscle pain: mechanisms and clinical significance

PainSci » bibliography » Mense 2008
Tags: chronic pain, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, pain problems, muscle

Two articles on PainSci cite Mense 2008: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain2. Sensitization in Chronic Pain

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.

INTRODUCTION: Muscle pain is common, but the understanding of its causes is still patchy. This article addresses the mechanisms of some important types of muscle pain.

METHODS: Selective literature review, predominantly of data derived from neuroanatomical and electrophysiological experiments on anesthetized rats.

RESULTS: Muscle pain is evoked by specialized nerve endings (nociceptors). Important stimuli for muscle pain are adenosintriphosphate (ATP) and a low tissue pH. Excitation of muscle nociceptors leads to hyperexcitability of spinal sensory neurones (central sensitization). Low frequency activity in muscle nociceptors is sufficient to induce central sensitization.

DISCUSSION: Central sensitization leads to increased excitation in the spinal cord and to referral of muscle pain. The motoneurones of a painful muscle are centrally inhibited. Muscular spasm is mostly secondary to a painful lesion in another muscle or joint. The pain of fibromyalgia is assumed to relate to a dysfunction of central nociceptive processing. Psychosocial factors also contribute to pain.

related content

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: