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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Szeto 2009.

Neck-shoulder muscle activity in general and task-specific resting postures of symptomatic computer users with chronic neck pain


Tags: neck, muscle pain, head/neck, spine, muscle, pain problems

PainSci summary of Szeto 2009?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This simple study showed that muscle tension in the neck is high in patients with neck pain when they rest their hands on a keyboard or type. The study does not show causation: the muscle tension may be a response to pain, and/or the pain might be caused or aggravated by the tension. However, the muscle is unquestionably more active.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Past research on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) has frequently examined the activity of neck-shoulder muscles such as upper trapezius (UT) and cervical erector spinae (CES) during typing tasks. Increased electromyographic activity in these postural stabilising muscles has been consistently found in chronic neck pain patients under different physically stressful conditions. The present study compared muscle activity when female office workers with chronic neck pain (n=39) and asymptomatic controls (n=34) adopted two resting postures: (1) with hands on laps versus; and (2) hands on a keyboard. Resting hands on keyboard elicited significantly increased muscle activity in the right UT of subjects with high discomforts (n=22), similar to that observed during actual typing. In contrast, the asymptomatic controls showed no difference in muscle activity between the resting postures. This result suggested that altered muscle activation patterns were triggered by some anticipatory task demand associated with a task-specific position in some individuals.

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These two articles on cite Szeto 2009 as a source:

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: