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Physiother Can. 2011 Fall;63(4):405-9. doi: 10.3138/ptc.2010-27. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Effect of latent myofascial trigger points on strength measurements of the upper trapezius: a case-controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Therapeutic Sciences, Masterskill University College of Health Sciences, Selangor, Malaysia.



The purpose of this article was to determine whether strength is altered in the upper trapezius in the presence of latent myofascial trigger points (MTrP).


This study was case controlled and used convenience sampling. The sample recruited was homogeneous with respect to age, sex, height, and body mass. Participants were assessed for the presence of latent MTrP in the upper trapezius and placed into two groups: an experimental group that had latent MTrP in the upper trapezius and a control group that did not. Eighteen women (mean age 21.4 y, SD 1.89; mean height 156.9 cm, SD 4.03; and mean body mass 51.7 kg, SD 5.84) made up the experimental group, and 19 women (mean age 20.3 y, SD 1.86; mean height 158.6 cm, SD 3.14; and mean body mass 53.2 kg, SD 5.17) made up the control group. We obtained strength measurements of the non-dominant arm using a handheld dynamometer and compared them between the two groups.


The difference in the strength measurements between the two groups was not statistically significant (p=0.59).


The presence of latent MTrPs may not affect the strength of the upper trapezius.


muscle strength; muscle strength dynamometer; myofascial pain syndromes; upper extremity

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