Twelve individuals (2 males, 10 females) with chronic masticatory muscle pain and 11 individuals (2 males, 9 females) without, had their bite force and surface electromyography from the right and left superficial masseter and anterior temporalis muscles recorded before, during and after a 30-s sustained submaximal clenching task. This task was performed at 50% of the force level of each subject's maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) for 30 s. Brief (3 s) 50% MVC efforts were recorded at 15-s intervals, three times before and six times after the sustained clench. Each subject performed this pattern of activities three times with a l5-min rest between each trial. The centre frequency (CF) of the electromyographic power spectrum was calculated by fast Fourier transformations. The mean CF at the end of the 30-s clench and the rate of change at the CF during the clenching task were analysed between groups, sides and muscles. The data indicated that the masseter CF decreased at a significantly faster rate for the first clenching trial in the muscle-pain group. Conversely, the rate of change in the temporalis CF did not significantly differ for the two groups during the three clenching trials. By the third trial the CF of the exercised masseter in the non-pain group exhibited a similar rate of change to that in the pain group. This suggests that both repeated exercise and the presence of chronic inflammation increase the rate of change of the electromyographic signal of the contracting masseter. The mechanism underlying this increased change is unknown.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology