Needle electromyographic evaluation of patients with myofascial or fibromyalgic pain

M. R. Durette, A. A. Rodriquez, J. C. Agre, J. L. Silverman

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57 Scopus citations


Several past studies have evaluated the electromyographic activity of myofascial trigger points with conflicting results. This study was performed to determine whether spontaneous activity or motor unit activity was present in patients with focal myofascial pain or fibromyalgia. Using routine needle electromyographic techniques, we sampled reproducibly tender focal areas (tender points), similar tender areas with pain referral (trigger points), associated muscle bands and adjacent uninvolved musculature. Twenty-five subjects (14 females, 11 males, mean ± SD age 43 ± 14 years) were studied; twenty-one subjects with focal myofascial pain and four with fibromyalgia. Spontaneous fibrillatory or positive sharp wave potentials were not found in any muscle in the 25 subjects. There was no evidence of focal motor unit activity in the tender points, trigger points or associated muscle bands in either group. Motor unit recruitment was similar in all areas sampled. We conclude that no electrodiagnostic evidence of ongoing denervation or focal muscle spasm is found in association with focal myofascial pain or fibromyalgia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-156
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • Electromyography
  • Muscle
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes
  • Pain
  • Spasm


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