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Articles

Psychological Factor of Muscle Pain

Date: 2024-06-26

Tzu-Yuan Yen, MD

Chronic pain and bad mood often comes together. This is a well-known fact to healthcare professionals and the General Public. Antidepressants that increase serotonin level has pain-relieving effect. Fibromyalgia, a condition entails widespread pain, chronic fatigue, sleep problems and emotional distress, epitomized the downward spiral of mind-body interaction. If psychological stress do lead to muscle pain, how can we explain it.

Muscle dysponesis is a term first coined by Whatmore and Kohli in 1968 to describe improper exertion of muscle. Together, they describe 4 kinds of muscle dysponesis.

  1. Performance dysponesis: The right muscle was used when performing a task, but with too much effort. For example, our neck and shoulder might become too tense during sedentary office work.
  2. Representing dysponesis: Our mental representation of past or future event, with its corresponding activation of motor cortex, might lead to increased muscle tension. For example, when we are worrying about an important meeting, our shoulder might be elevated and muscle stiffness ensued.
  3. Bracing dysponesis: This is common for those suffered from chronic pain. When anticipating pain, we often contract muscles in nearby areas. This reaction build up muscle tension.
  4. Attention dysponesis: When we are focused doing some task, some muscle might contract without our awareness. For instance, frowned brow and squinted eyes are often noted when we try to solve a math problem.

Muscle dysponesis we describe above lead to unnecessary buildup of muscle tensions,

which decreases muscle blood flow. Lowered perfusion limits tissue supply of oxygen, and clearance of metabolite waste. It is painful if our muscles suffered from such unhealthy state.

 

Reference:

Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance. Inna Khazan. 2019. Norton.

view:25updated date:2024-06-26
view:25updated date:2024-06-26