Upper limb position control in fibromyalgiaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 13:186

First Online: 24 September 2012Received: 13 December 2011Accepted: 20 September 2012


BackgroundMotor problems are reported by patients with fibromyalgia FM. However, the mechanisms leading to alterations in motor performance are not well understood. In this study, upper limb position control during sustained isometric contractions was investigated in patients with FM and in healthy controls HCs.

MethodsFifteen female FM patients and 13 HCs were asked to keep a constant upper limb position during sustained elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, respectively. Subjects received real-time visual feedback on limb position and both tasks were performed unloaded and while supporting loads 1, 2, and 3 kg. Accelerations of the dominant upper limb were recorded, with variance SD of mean position and power spectrum analysis used to characterize limb position control. Normalized power of the acceleration signal was extracted for three frequency bands: 1–3 Hz, 4–7 Hz, and 8–12 Hz.

ResultsVariance increased with load in both tasks P < 0.001 but did not differ significantly between patients and HCs P > 0.17. Power spectrum analysis showed that the FM patients had a higher proportion of normalized power in the 1–3 Hz band, and a lower proportion of normalized power in the 8–12 Hz band compared to HCs P < 0.05. The results were consistent for all load conditions and for both elbow flexion and shoulder abduction.

ConclusionFM patients exhibit an altered neuromuscular strategy for upper limb position control compared to HCs. The predominance of low-frequency limb oscillations among FM patients may indicate a sensory deficit.

KeywordsPhysiological tremor Motor control Shoulder joint Elbow joint Pain Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2474-13-186 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Ellen Marie Bardal - Karin Roeleveld - Tonje Okkenhaug Johansen - Paul Jarle Mork

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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