Background and Objectives: A high prevalence of non-specific neck or shoulder pain exists among university students. A few studies had been conducted in Malaysia to study the prevalence and possible risk factors associated with non-specific neck pain among college students. The purposes of this study were to study the prevalence, the anatomical locations and disability grading of myofascial trigger points in non-specific neck or shoulder pain among university students.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Subjects were selected according to the screening questionnaires. Eligible subjects were examined. Disability levels of the subjects were graded using Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI). MTrPs palpations were done on 6 anatomical locations to locate MTrPs. Flat palpation technique and pincer palpation techniques were used.
Results: Among 350 participants, 59.7% participants reported having neck or shoulder pain. Out of 208 participants, 51% participants were having MTrPs with non-specific neck or shoulder pain. In general, both left and right upper trapezius showed the highest percentage of MTrPs which are 94.79% (n=91) respectively, followed by right neck extensors72.97% (n=70) and both left and right levator scapulae63.54 %( n=61). According to disability grading of NDI and SPADI, most subjects showed low levels of associated disability.
Conclusions: A high prevalence (51%) of MTrPs with non-specific neck or shoulder pain existed among university students. Upper trapezius, neck extensor and levator scapulae were found to be the muscles that prone to develop MTrPs. Majority of the participants (62.5%) fell under the category of mild disability.
Keywords: Prevalence, Myofascial Trigger Points, Non-specific neck or shoulder pain