, Volume 241, Issue 2, pp 102-104

Estimation of the frequency of the muscular pain-fasciculation syndrome and the muscular cramp-fasciculation syndrome in the adult population

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Summary

A nationwide two-phase survey was carried out of the adult population of the Netherlands regarding fasciculation, muscle pain and muscle cramp. We conducted a population-based telephone interview with 780 Dutch adults, followed by a questionnaire covering more clinical details, filled out by 311 subjects, who had been interviewed by telephone previously. From these data the frequencies of fasciculation (men 50%, women 61%), muscle cramp (men 28%, women 42%) and muscle pain (men 48%, women 60%) in the Dutch adult population in 1988 were estimated. The combined occurrence of frequent fasciculation and frequent muscle cramp as well as of frequent fasciculation and frequent muscle pain was reported only sporadically. Although the muscular painfasciculation syndrome and the muscular cramp-fasciculation syndrome represent combinations of common neuromuscular phenomena, their occurrence in the general population proved to be rare. This finding supports their clinical identity as distinct motor unit hyperactivity syndromes rather than mere coincidences of fasciculation, muscle cramp and muscle pain.