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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2006 Apr;16(2):115-24. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Myofascial trigger point development from visual and postural stressors during computer work.

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The Biodynamics Laboratory, The Ohio State University, 1971 Neil Ave, 210 Baker Systems, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The mechanism of musculoskeletal pain underlying low level static exertions, such as those experienced during computer work, is poorly understood. It was hypothesized that static postural and visual stress experienced during computer work might contribute to trigger point development in the trapezius muscles, resulting in myofascial pain. A study was conducted to observe the development of myofascial trigger points while 16 female subjects used a computer under conditions of high and low postural and visual stress. Trigger point development was monitored via expert opinion, subject self-report, and electromyographic activity. Only the high visual stress conditions resulted in greater trigger point sensitivity as reported by subjects and the myofascial specialist. Cyclic trends in median frequency of the EMG signal were assessed for the trapezius muscle. When high visual stress was combined with low postural stress condition there were significantly fewer cycles (1.6 cycles) as compared to the condition of low visual and low postural stress (2.8 cycles), and the condition of high visual and high postural stress (3.5 cycles). These significant differences between conditions were found for the right trapezius but not for the left. The findings suggest that high visual stress may be involved in the development of the myofascial pain response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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