Lower Hand Function and Strength in Fibromyalgia Patients Linked to Increased Pain, Study Reports

Lower Hand Function and Strength in Fibromyalgia Patients Linked to Increased Pain, Study Reports
Women with fibromyalgia have impaired hand function and strength, which is associated with increased pain and greater disease severity, according to a new study. The study, “Assessment of hand function and disability in fibromyalgia,” appeared in the journal Zeitschrift für Rheumatologie. Reduced muscle strength is common in fibromyalgia patients, limiting their ability to do daily activities and increasing the risk for disability. However, according to the authors, little attention has been focused on the impact of fibromyalgia on hand function and how it subsequently affects quality of life in patients. To address this, a research team from Turkey compared pain threshold, handgrip strength, and pinch strength in 40 women with fibromyalgia and 30 individuals used as controls. In both groups, the mean age was 40 years old. Pain level was assessed with a Visual Analogue Scale, from zero to 10, at rest. Handgrip strength of the dominant hand was measured three times at one-minute intervals in each patient, using a hand-held device called a dynamometer. A similar protocol was followed to determine pinch strength through a manual pinch meter. Functional status was assessed with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).  This test specifically measures 10 different properties — physical disability, feeling good, feeling
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