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Blood supply and oxidative metabolism in muscle biopsies of female cleaners with and without myalgia
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2004 (English)In: The Clinical Journal of Pain, ISSN 0749-8047, Vol. 20, no 6, 440-446 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Pathomechanisms of work-related myalgia are poorly understood. Myalgia is thought to be caused by excitation of nociceptors present in the muscular tissue but not in the muscle fiber itself. Muscle contraction in combination with hypoxia is known to excite nociceptors. Morphologic analysis can contribute to the knowledge of the excitation of nociceptors. This study thoroughly examines the morphology of the trapezius muscle's capillary supply and signs of disturbed oxidative metabolism to understand their role in work-related myalgia. Methods: Surgical trapezius muscle biopsies were obtained from 25 female cleaners with long-standing work-related myalgia, 25 female cleaners without trapezius myalgia, and 21 healthy teachers. Enzyme and immunohistochemical stainings were performed to highlight fibers with aberrant intermyofibrillar patterns, indicating a disturbed oxidative metabolism (also known as moth-eaten fibers) and a disturbed capillary supply of different fibers. Results: A significantly lower number of capillaries per fiber area in cleaners suffering from myalgia compared with cleaners without trapezius myalgia was found. Moth-eaten fibers were found in the 3 groups, but these fibers were significantly more prevalent in the groups of cleaners than in the healthy teacher group. Conclusion: This work indicates that the capillary supply of trapezius is affected in work-related trapezius myalgia. More studies are needed to understand possible mechanisms that would explain the occurrence of moth-eaten fibers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 20, no 6, 440-446 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-23219DOI: 10.1097/00002508-200411000-00009Local ID: 2632OAI: diva2:243533
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Gerdle, Björn
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Faculty of Health SciencesRehabilitation MedicinePain and Rehabilitation Centre
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