Effect of exams period on prevalence of Myofascial Trigger points and head posture in undergraduate students: Repeated measurements study Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Background Myofascial Trigger points (MTrPs) may be caused or aggravated by many factors, such as mental stress associated with exams and impaired posture. Aim To compare the prevalence and sensitivity of MTrPs, and forward head position (FHP) during exam period vs. mid-semester among physical therapy students. Methods 39 physical therapy students were palpated for MTrPs in neck and shoulder muscles and were photographed laterally for FHP measurement during the academic semester and during the academic examination period. Results The subjects showed higher prevalence of active MTrPs in the right Trapezius and Levator Scapula muscles, and higher prevalence of latent MTrPs in the left Sternocleidomastoideus and Levator Scapula muscles during exams, as well as a higher rate of tenderness in suboccipital musculature. Conclusions Physical therapy students show greater prevalence of MTrPs during exams. The authors recommend implementing preventative programs towards the examination period.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017