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Eur J Pain. 2005 Jun;9(3):311-24.

A prospective study of the relationship between musculoskeletal or psychological complaints and muscular responses to standardized cognitive and motor tasks in a working population.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway. olofast@online.no

Abstract

The present study sought to determine the relationship between musculoskeletal or psychological complaints and muscular responses to standardized cognitive and motor tasks. The prospective study design examined (i) whether complaint severity predicts muscular responses during standardized tasks and (ii) whether the muscular responses predict changes in complaint severity over one year. Musculoskeletal and psychological complaints were recorded by monthly reports the four months preceding and 12 months succeeding a work session in the laboratory; complaint-severity indices were computed from complaint-severity scores (intensity scorexduration score). Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded bilaterally from the upper trapezius, middle deltoid, and forearm extensor muscles in 45 post-office workers (30 women) during two identical task series. Between the series, exhausting submaximal muscle contractions (25% of peak torque) were performed. In adjusted regression models, no relations between musculoskeletal complaints the last four months and muscle activity during the task series were found. However, psychological complaints the last four months predicted higher muscle activity levels and a steeper rise in muscle activity in the muscles not engaged in motor task performance. Sleep disturbance was the strongest individual predictor of increased muscle responses. In contrast, psychological complaints the last four months predicted lower EMG levels in the task-engaged muscle during the complex-choice-reaction-time tasks. None of the muscle-activity responses to the standardized tasks predicted changes in severity of musculoskeletal or psychological complaints over the subsequent one-year period. In conclusion, psychological complaints predict different responses in task-engaged and non-involved muscles during cognitive and motor tasks. Musculoskeletal complaints did not predict responses to the tasks.

PMID:
15862481
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejpain.2004.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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