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An in vivo microanalytical technique for measuring the local biochemical milieu of human skeletal muscle

PainSci » bibliography » Shah et al 2005
Tags: chronic pain, back pain, neck, muscle pain, pain problems, spine, head/neck, muscle

Three articles on PainSci cite Shah 2005: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain2. Toxic Muscle Knots3. The Trigger Point Identity Crisis

PainSci notes on Shah 2005:

This is an important research attempt to analyze the tissue chemistry of myofascial trigger points. For details and analysis, however, see the improved 2008 follow-up study (Shah), Dr. David Simons’ summary (Simons), and my own article, Toxic Muscle Knots.

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.

Myofascial pain associated with myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) is a common cause of nonarticular musculoskeletal pain. Although the presence of MTrPs can be determined by soft tissue palpation, little is known about the mechanisms and biochemical milieu associated with persistent muscle pain. A microanalytical system was developed to measure the in vivo biochemical milieu of muscle in near real time at the subnanogram level of concentration. The system includes a microdialysis needle capable of continuously collecting extremely small samples (approximately 0.5 microl) of physiological saline after exposure to the internal tissue milieu across a 105-microm-thick semi-permeable membrane. This membrane is positioned 200 microm from the tip of the needle and permits solutes of <75 kDa to diffuse across it. Three subjects were selected from each of three groups (total 9 subjects): normal (no neck pain, no MTrP); latent (no neck pain, MTrP present); active (neck pain, MTrP present). The microdialysis needle was inserted in a standardized location in the upper trapezius muscle. Due to the extremely small sample size collected by the microdialysis system, an established microanalytical laboratory, employing immunoaffinity capillary electrophoresis and capillary electrochromatography, performed analysis of selected analytes. Concentrations of protons, bradykinin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta, serotonin, and norepinephrine were found to be significantly higher in the active group than either of the other two groups (P < 0.01). pH was significantly lower in the active group than the other two groups (P < 0.03). In conclusion, the described microanalytical technique enables continuous sampling of extremely small quantities of substances directly from soft tissue, with minimal system perturbation and without harmful effects on subjects. The measured levels of analytes can be used to distinguish clinically distinct groups.

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