Objective: To examine the possible relationship between chest expansion and pulmonary muscle strength in patients with primary fibromyalgia (PFM).
Methods: Forty-one consecutive women with PFM were compared with age and body mass index matched 40 healthy women concerning pulmonary function tests, chest expansion, and maximum respiratory pressures indicating pulmonary muscle strength, and endurance (MVV). Pain was scored according to a visual analog scale (VAS). Chest pain was scored on a 10 point scale.
Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding chest expansion (P > 0.05). Maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP, MEP) were lower in fibromyalgia patients than controls (P < 0.05). However, chest expansion and dyspnea score were insignificant between groups (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Reduced maximum respiratory pressures (MIP, MEP) may result from isometric type pulmonary muscle dysfunction as a result of low physical performance in fibromyalgia patients, despite insignificant finding of chest expansion and dyspnea score according to controls.