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Effects of static contraction and cold stimulation on cardiovascular autonomic indices, trapezius blood flow and muscle activity in chronic neck-shoulder pain
University of Gavle.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Physiological Measurements. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Wayne State University.
University of Gavle.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 111, no 8, 1725-1735 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study was to investigate reactions in trapezius muscle blood flow (MBF), muscle activity, heart rate variability (HRV) and systemic blood pressure (BP) to autonomic tests in subjects with chronic neck-shoulder pain and healthy controls. Changes in muscle activity and blood flow due to stress and unfavourable muscle loads are known underlying factors of work-related muscle pain. Aberration of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is considered a possible mechanism. In the present study, participants (n = 23 Pain, n = 22 Control) performed autonomic tests which included a resting condition, static hand grip test (HGT) at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction, a cold pressor test (CPT) and a deep breathing test (DBT). HRV was analysed in time and frequency domains. MBF and muscle activity were recorded from the upper trapezius muscles using photoplethysmography and electromyography (EMG). The pain group showed reduced low frequency-HRV (LF) and SDNN during rest, as well as a blunted BP response and increased LF-HRV during HGT (a dagger systolic 22 mm Hg; a dagger LF(nu) 27%) compared with controls (a dagger systolic 27; a dagger LF(nu) 6%). Locally, the pain group had attenuated trapezius MBF in response to HGT (Pain 122% Control 140%) with elevated trapezius EMG following HGT and during CPT. In conclusion, only HGT showed differences between groups in systemic BP and HRV and alterations in local trapezius MBF and EMG in the pain group. Findings support the hypothesis of ANS involvement at systemic and local levels in chronic neck-shoulder pain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Verlag (Germany) , 2011. Vol. 111, no 8, 1725-1735 p.
Keyword [en]
Muscle pain, Sympathetic, Heart rate variability, PPG, Electromyography
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70336DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1813-zISI: 000293980000019OAI: diva2:438339
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-09-02 Last updated: 2011-09-02

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Lindberg, Lars-Göran
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Physiological MeasurementsThe Institute of Technology
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ReferencesLink to record
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