PMID: 8733302Apr 26, 1996

Pain due to tissue acidosis: a mechanism for inflammatory and ischemic myalgia?

Neuroscience Letters
U IssbernerKay H Steen

Abstract

To study the role of protons in ischemic muscle pain we employed the "submaximal effort tourniquet technique' and, in a second attempt, an intramuscular pressure infusion of acid phosphate buffer. The pH measured in the forearm skin covering the muscles at work during the tourniquet test continuously dropped to a mean value of pH 7.00 +/- 0.26, starting 1 min after the contractions, while the pain increased in direct correlation with the hydrogen ion concentration (r = 0.96). After restoring the blood supply, the intradermal proton concentration decreased more slowly than the muscular pain. The same subjective quality of deep muscular pain was achieved with pressure infusion of acid phosphate buffer (pH 5.2) into the forearm muscles. Constant flow rates evoked constant, apparently non-adapting magnitudes of pain with a log-linear stimulus-response relationship (r = 0.93). Changes in flow rate were followed by changes in pain ratings with a certain phase lag. We conclude that muscular pain induced by infusion of acidic phosphate buffer and pain from ischemic contractions are generated through the same mechanisms based on the algogenic action of protons.

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Related Concepts

Metabolic Acidosis
Forearm
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Inflammation
Ischemia
Protons

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