Influence of scapular position on the pressure pain threshold of the upper trapezius muscle region

Daniel Camara Azevedo, Tatiana de Lima Pires, Fernanda de Souza Andrade, Mary Kate McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A position of scapula depression will maintain the upper trapezius muscle region in a lengthened position, causing excessive strain. This strain could lead to peripheral nociceptive nerves sensitization in the affected area, changing the pressure pain threshold (PPT). Thus, people with a faulty alignment of scapular depression may have lower PPT levels in the upper trapezius region when compared to subjects with normal vertical scapular position. The purpose of this double-blind study was to assess the influence of scapular position on the PPT of the upper trapezius region in a young healthy population. Fifty two physical therapy students of the Catholic University of Minas Gerais - PUC-Minas, Brazil, with normal shoulder (NS group, n = 26, 6 men and 20 women) or depressed shoulder (DS group, n = 26, 6 men and 20 women) volunteered to participate in this study. An electronic pressure algometer was used to measure the PPT on the upper trapezius muscle region. The results showed a significant difference between groups, with the DS group (19.0 ± 9.0 N/cm2) demonstrated lower mean PPT values when compared to NS group (26.1 ± 9.6 N/cm2) (p < 0.01). Our results showed that healthy young subjects with depressed scapula position had significant lower upper trapezius PPT values when compared to subjects with normal scapula position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

Keywords

  • Pain
  • Posture
  • Scapula
  • Trapezius

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