Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine the association between trapezius muscle tenderness and tension-type headache among female office workers.
Methods: Through a questionnaire survey, 256 female office workers with tension-type headaches reported the level of palpable tenderness (“no,” “some,” or “severe tenderness”) in the trapezius muscle. The number of days with headache (“0-7,” “8-14,” or “>14”), intensity (“low,” “moderate,” or “high”), duration of headache (“<8 hours per day,” “>8 hours per day,” and “all day”), and use of analgesic medications were reported. Odds ratio (OR) for tenderness in the trapezius muscle (“no/some” vs “severe tenderness”) as a function of days with headache, intensity of headache, duration of headache, and use of analgesic medications were calculated using a binary logistic regression controlling for age and body mass index.
Results: After adjustments for confounders, a strong association was found between the level of trapezius muscle tenderness and intensity of headache (moderate intensity, OR 2.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08-5.54; high intensity, OR 7.51 [95% CI 2.65-21.29]) and days with headache (>14 days, OR 4.75 [95% CI 1.41-15.89]). No association was observed for duration of headache or use of analgesic medications.
Conclusions: For the participants studied, there was a strong association between trapezius muscle tenderness and the level of intensity and the number of days with a headache among female office workers. No association was seen for duration of headaches or use of analgesic medications.
Author keywords: Headache, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Musculoskeletal Pain
Author affiliations: ML: Centre for Ergonomics, Occupational Safety and Health, School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand; LLA: National Research Center for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark; LLA: Physical Activity and Human Performance Group, SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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