fibromyalgia word cloud concept

This story first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of the university magazine, Dominguez Today . If all goes well, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Scott Cheatham’s research could open doors for new methods of examining people who suffer from fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome—two chronic conditions that cause widespread pain in the muscles and tissues of the body—and related issues such as fatigue. For over a year, Cheatham, who serves as director of Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Pre-Physical Therapy Program, studied more than 90 individuals with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. Normally, a doctor will apply a self-prescribed amount of pressure to a body region using touch, then document the patient’s reaction to the graded pressure. With Cheatham’s new scale, doctors would still use touch to examine a patient, but instead would rank the patient’s level of discomfort ranging from 0 to 4, which is displayed on the scale. This enables doctors to quantify the level of the discomfort and use it as a means to retest the patient in future visits. “For the study, we utilized a computerized thumb sensor to measure the amount of pressure applied, which helped the researcher gauge their pressure in real time,” Cheatham explains. […]