Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

Effect of environmental enrichment associated or not with physical activity on nociceptive and motor functions in an animal model of fibromyalgia

Efeito do enriquecimento ambiental associado ou não a atividade física nas funções nociceptivas e motoras em um modelo animal de fibromialgia

Solano Savio Figueiredo-Dourado; Lucas Vasconcelos Lima; Rosana Givigi; Josimari Melo DeSantana

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome, characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and the reduction of physical/functional performance as a major comorbidity. Pharmacological treatment of fibromyalgia has limited effectiveness, making it important to study non-pharmacological therapies, emphasizing physical activity, cognitive behavioral therapy and distracting techniques. Environment enrichment and physical activity have been used in the treatment of diseases associated with increases in peripheral and central nociceptive activity. The objective of this study was the investigation of environmental enrichment, a technique based on physical, sensory and cognitive stimulation, and voluntary physical activity for hyperalgesia prevention in an experimental model of fibromyalgia.

METHODS: Twenty-four male Wistar rats were split into four groups: 1. environmental enrichment, 2. physical activity, 3. environmental enrichment plus physical activity and 4. control and kept in these protocols for 4 weeks. Next, diffuse chronic muscle pain was induced by a double injection of acidic saline in the left gastrocnemius muscle. Mechanical paw withdrawal threshold, thermal latency, neuromuscular activity and ambulation in six different moments were assessed: baseline, after the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks and 24 hours after chronic muscle pain induction.

RESULTS: Animals kept in the environmental enrichment plus physical activity protocol showed increased mechanical threshold, thermal latency, neuromuscular activity and ambulation even after the acidic saline injections.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest association between environmental enrichment and physical activity as a strategy for chronic musculoskeletal pain prevention and physical performance optimization in a diffuse chronic muscle pain model.


Exercise, Fibromyalgia, Hyperalgesia, Pain


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A fibromialgia é uma síndrome complexa, caracterizada por dor musculoesquelética crônica generalizada, tendo como principal comorbidade a redução do desempenho físico/funcional. O tratamento farmacológico da fibromialgia tem eficácia limitada, tornando importante o estudo de terapias não farmacológicas, enfatizando a atividade física, terapia cognitivo-comportamental e técnicas de distração. O enriquecimento ambiental e a atividade física têm sido utilizados no tratamento de doenças associadas ao aumento da atividade nociceptiva periférica e central. O objetivo deste estudo foi investigar o enriquecimento ambiental, uma técnica baseada na estimulação física, sensorial e cognitiva e atividade física voluntária para prevenção de hiperalgesia em um modelo experimental de fibromialgia.

MÉTODOS: Vinte e quatro ratos Wistar machos foram divididos em quatro grupos: 1. enriquecimento ambiental, 2. atividade física, 3. enriquecimento ambiental somado a atividade física e 4. controle, e mantidos nesses protocolos por 4 semanas. A dor muscular crônica difusa foi induzida por uma injeção dupla de salina ácida no músculo gastrocnêmio esquerdo. Foram avaliados o limiar mecânico de retirada da pata, latência térmica, atividade neuromuscular e deambulação em seis momentos diferentes: basal, após a 1ª, 2ª, 3ª e 4ª semanas e 24h após a indução crônica da dor muscular.

RESULTADOS: Os animais mantidos no protocolo de enriquecimento ambiental somado a atividade física apresentaram aumento do limiar mecânico, latência térmica, atividade neuromuscular e deambulação mesmo após injeções de salinas ácidas.

CONCLUSÃO: Esses resultados sugerem a associação entre enriquecimento ambiental e atividade física como estratégia para prevenção da dor musculoesquelética e déficit motor em modelo de fibromialgia.


Dor, Exercício, Fibromialgia, Hiperalgesia


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