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Latent Trigger Points: What Are the Underlying Predictors?

Published:March 10, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2016.02.014

      Abstract

      Objective

      To determine the factors predicting the presence and number of latent trigger points (LTrPs) in healthy individuals.

      Design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting

      Local faculty of health sciences.

      Participants

      Healthy individuals (N=242) were divided into 2 groups: group 1, those without LTrPs (n=68); and group 2, those with LTrPs (n=174).

      Interventions

      None.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Disability was assessed using the Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire and the Neck Pain and Disability Scale. Psychological factors were evaluated using the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Perceived Stress Scale. Quality of life was evaluated using the Short-Form-12; smoking habits were determined with questions about current smoking status; and pain level was assessed using the visual analog scale. The LTrP assessment was made with a pinching movement or flat palpation bilaterally.

      Results

      By using a hierarchical regression model, we entered age, depression, and pain level into the first block, which explained a significant amount of variance in the presence and number of LTrPs (R2=.041; P=.033 and R2=.197; P<.001, respectively). Pain level contributed independently the presence of LTrPs, whereas age and pain level predicted the number of LTrPs (P<.05).

      Conclusions

      This study found that pain and age were significant predictors of the number of LTrPs, but only pain predicted the presence of LTrPs in healthy individuals.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      ATrP (active trigger point), BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), BSI (Brief Symptom Inventory), LTrP (latent trigger point), NPAD (Neck Pain and Disability Scale), PSS (Perceived Stress Scale), SF-12 (Short Form-12), STAI (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), TrP (trigger point)
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