People with fibromyalgia have a much higher muscle tension than people without fibromyalgia. The extreme muscle tension can be the cause of the often severe muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia. That is the conclusion from research by Dr. Ewa Klaver-Król from Twente. The high muscle tension develops in people with fibromyalgia without having to use their muscles. The research is a new step in better understanding of fibromyalgia.
Ewa Klaver-Król is a neurologist and researcher at the Roessingh Research and Development Institute (RRD) in Enschede. She specializes in research into fibromyalgia and other disorders that are medically difficult to explain. Her research on muscle activity in fibromyalgia involved 22 women with fibromyalgia and 21 women without fibromyalgia.
Remarkably high muscle tension
Her research shows that people with fibromyalgia have a much higher muscle tension than people without fibromyalgia. Ewa Klaver: ‘We measured muscle tension in the same way in women with fibromyalgia and women without fibromyalgia. They had to keep their arm in a certain position and sometimes they did and sometimes did not get a weight in their hand. Our measurements show that the women with fibromyalgia have a much higher muscle tension, even when no force is used. ‘
Overactive muscle membrane
‘In our research we measured muscle tension on the surface of the muscle, the so-called muscle membrane. What seems? It is mainly the muscle membrane itself that becomes overactive in people with fibromyalgia. This is important to know because the signal is given to the muscles via the muscle membrane to contract. When the muscle membrane is overactive, the muscle is tightened too easily without it being necessary. ‘
Explanation for the complaints
The research results from Ewa Klaver establish a clear link with the complaints of people with fibromyalgia. ‘If your muscles are tightened too often, for too long and also unnecessarily, it can lead to pain, cramps and fatigue. These are the symptoms that people with fibromyalgia recognize all too well. Our investigation can therefore provide an explanation for the complaints. ”
Better understanding of fibromyalgia
Ewa Klaver-Król’s research is a new step in better understanding of fibromyalgia. “I think the cause of fibromyalgia is in the nervous system. Several studies have already shown that in people with fibromyalgia signals in the nervous system are not sufficiently inhibited. The muscle and the muscle membrane are parts of that nervous system. The membrane is probably wrongly given the ‘tighten’ signal, which causes the high muscle tension, with all the consequences for people with fibromyalgia. ‘