Muscle strength in patients with chronic pain

C.P. van Wilgen, L. Akkerman, J. Wieringa, P.U. Dijkstra

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Abstract

Objective: To analyse the influence of chronic pain on muscle strength.

Design: Muscle strength of patients with unilateral nonspecific chronic pain, in an upper or lower limb, were measured according to a standardized protocol using a hand-held dynamometer. Before and after muscle strength measurement, a visual analogue scale for pain intensity was assessed.

Results: Forty patients were measured and the muscle strength of the painful side was 20-30% less than that of the nonpainful side. Strength reduction was seen in the whole limb. A significant correlation between pain intensity and reduced muscle strength in the painful limb existed for hip flexion, knee flexion, knee extension and three-point grip.

Conclusions: A strength reduction of 20-30% in a painful limb seems to be 'normal' in chronic pain patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-889
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Volume17
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2003

Keywords

  • HAND-HELD
  • INTERRATER RELIABILITY
  • GRIP STRENGTH
  • DYNAMOMETRY
  • TESTS

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