Pain Associated Proteins in Trapezius Muscles of Fibromyalgia Patients Higher

Pain Associated Proteins in Trapezius Muscles of Fibromyalgia Patients Higher

Because of its location and size, the trapezius muscle has been a point of interest for researchers who study fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic pain. Recently, a group of international researchers released findings from an exploratory study that brings to light specific proteins involved in increased levels of pain throughout areas of attachment of the muscle – associated bones, tendons, and ligaments.

The study, “Specific proteins of the trapezius muscle correlate with pain intensity and sensitivity – an explorative multivariate proteomic study of the trapezius muscle in women with chronic widespread pain,” was published in the Journal of Pain Research.

Trapezius Muscle and Fibromyalgia

The trapezius is a major back muscle and is involved in movement of the scapula (shoulder blade), head, and neck.

Previous research showed that patients with FM who undergo stressful events and increased trapezius muscle activity, experience a rise in pain levels throughout the neck and shoulders.

About this Study

Researchers wanted to understand the protein composition within the trapezius muscle tissue and its relation to pain intensity and pain thresholds in FM patients. Enrolled were 18 female patients with FM and chronic widespread pain (CWP), and 19 healthy controls.

Muscle biopsies were taken from each patient to analyze protein composition. A pain intensity survey was taken two hours prior to the muscle biopsy, and pressure pain thresholds over the trapezius muscles were measured by an electronic pressure algometer.

The findings showed that the protein composition within the muscle tissue in patients with FM and CWP were mostly proteins involved in stress and inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle recovery; and those proteins were present at higher percentages than the healthy controls.

The results led researchers to conclude that the increased expression of the proteins in patients with FM and CWP could be associated with a heightened inflammatory process and greater feelings of pain.

The authors caution that the results will need further confirmation studies:  “Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon, and a biopsychosocial model is applied in clinical practice. This study adds information about the biological aspects, especially in the periphery (muscle). Such information can be of importance for designing treatment and rehabilitation interventions.”

9 comments

  1. Julia says:

    This is very interesting and makes sense, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia six years ago, but have probably had it for a while before that. Over the past four years I have been struggling with increasing pain and stiffness in my Trapezius muscles especially on the left side.
    The pain and discomfort do become worse after physical or mental stress, and now seem to be present most of the time. The tendons and muscles on my left trapezius feel as if they are shortening and I have to keep stretching them. Deep tissue massage helps but I cannot afford it very often.
    At home I use heat therapy, stretching exercises and try to massage the area myself, but the pain is no longer receding. I wondered if anyone uses any other home remedies and treatments which may help. I also use a lot of Turmeric in my cooking.

    • Josie says:

      I’m new in fibro, just diagnose a month ago,I use Tumeric, Magnesium,liquid coollagen, fibro support, n just add Moringa after two days of Moringa I have 3 days free pain,many days without the pain but soreness
      No medication I stop it, my dr was not happy but was not working on the pain, only making it worst for side effects.
      Also do massage n start a chiropractor treatment.
      I can say that have control of the pain but need to work in the lack of strength, in my favor is been only one month since I drop all meds…I do use ibuprofen when I fell like the pain is coming but not often…I hope this help…Good luck in your recovery.????

    • Stephanie says:

      I have had much pain relief from using magnets. I know it sounds like quackery. It brought my pain down from about a level 8 to a level 4. I got mine from Magnetic Jewelry store website and it was 10 magnets for $13. I ordered two sets and then bought waterproof medical tape to keep them in place while I sweat, since it is July in Texas. I also get weekly trigger point injections of a natural anti-inflammatory called sarapin, which helps.

    • Sheryl Walker says:

      Hi Julia I’m in the predicament came on after a whiplash, I find heat packs, hot showers, hot spa bath, hve a tens machine for my lower back u can also use small pads for shoulder, thanks x

  2. Carine MERMET says:

    I suffer from FM for 7 years now. I’m French and here FM is still unknown for many doctors. It has been difficult to be recognized ill. I tried many treatments without effect. Now I’m under Gabapentine for 1 month and i feel better even if i still have pain in my back legs arms and shoulders. I can move more easily.
    Your research is very interesting for those who suffer from FM
    THANKS

  3. Jacqueline D Reid says:

    I feel this article hit the problem right on target. I have had fm for 27 years now and thinking back to having whiplash a couple times. The area of most of my early pain was in the left shoulder, neck head area and I was always in physio, accupunture or chiropractic therapy to try to alleviate my pain. I am definitely doing better with my fm, although this area always gets aggrevated. I would like to see much more research on this topic.

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