Muscle rest patterns in the neck extensors and upper trapezius during a functional and stressful task in experimental and clinical neck pain (2008–2009)
The aims of this research are:
1. To determine if those with clinical neck pain can be differentiated from controls using muscle rest patterns in the upper trapezius and cervical extensors during a functional and/or stressful task.
2. To determine the effect of experimental unilateral upper trapezius muscle pain on muscle rest patterns during a functional and stressful task in asymptomatic controls.
Our research group recently found that 68% of female office workers reported mild to moderate neck pain  which is consistent with overseas studies. It is thought that low-level repetitive work common in computer work, when performed over long periods is associated with over-activity of low threshold motor units resulting in fatigue and pain . Rest time in the upper trapezius muscle (defined as the duration of time muscle activity is recorded as ?1% maximum voluntary activity) has been shown to differentiate female computer users with and without neck/shoulder complaints during the colour-word stress task, but not a typing task . It is expected that muscle rest times (in the trapezius and cervical extensors) can be used to not only differentiate cases with neck pain, but to predict future patient status.