Predictors of upper trapezius pain with myofascial trigger points in food service workers: The STROBE study

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Abstract

Shoulder pain occurs commonly in food service workers (FSWs) who repetitively perform motions of the upper limbs. Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) on the upper trapezius (UT) are among the most common musculoskeletal shoulder pain syndromes. This study determined the psychological, posture, mobility, and strength factors associated with pain severity in FSWs with UT pain due to MTrPs.

In this cross-sectional study, we measured 17 variables in 163 FSWs with UT pain due to MTrPs: a visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, age, sex, Borg rating of perceived exertion (BRPE) scale, beck depression inventory, forward head posture angle, rounded shoulder angle (RSA), shoulder slope angle, scapular downward rotation ratio, cervical lateral-bending side difference angle, cervical rotation side difference angle, glenohumeral internal rotation angle, shoulder horizontal adduction angle, serratus anterior (SA) strength, lower trapezius (LT) strength, bicep strength, and glenohumeral external rotator strength, in 163 FSWs with UT pain due to MTrPs.

The model for factors influencing UT pain with MTrPs included SA strength, age, BRPE, LT strength, and RSA as predictor variables that accounted for 68.7% of the variance in VAS (P < .001) in multiple regression models with a stepwise selection procedure. The following were independent variables influencing the VAS in the order of standardized coefficients: SA strength (β = −0.380), age (β = 0.287), BRPE (β = 0.239), LT strength (β = −0.195), and RSA (β = 0.125).

SA strength, age, BRPE, LT strength, and RSA variables should be considered when evaluating and intervening in UT pain with MTrPs in FSWs.

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