Relationship between finger flexion and extension force in healthy women and women with rheumatoid arthritis
Sofia Brorsson, Anna Nilsdotter, Eja Pedersen, Ann Bremander, Carina Thorstensson
Objective: Balance between flexor and extensor muscle activity is essential for optimal function. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the relationship between maximum finger flexion force and maximum finger extension force in women with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy women.
Methods: Twenty healthy women (median age 61 years) and 20 women with rheumatoid arthritis (median age 59.5 years, median disease duration 16.5 years) were included in the study. Finger extension force was measured with an electronic device, EX-it, and finger flexion force using Grippit. The Grip Ability Test and the score from the patient-reported outcome Disability Arm Shoulder and Hand were used to evaluate activity limitations.
Results: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed significantly decreased hand function compared with healthy controls. A correlation was found between extension force and flexion force in the healthy group (râ€‰=â€‰0.65, pâ€‰=â€‰0.002), but not in the rheumatoid arthritis group (râ€‰=â€‰0.25, pâ€‰=â€‰0.289).
Conclusion: Impaired hand function appears to influence the relationship between maximum finger flexion and extension force. This study showed a difference in the relationship between maximum finger flexion and extension force in healthy controls and those with rheumatoid arthritis.
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