Incidence of trapezius myofascial trigger points in patients with the possible carpal tunnel syndrome

Hamid Azadeh, Mohamad Dehghani, Abolghasem Zarezadeh


  • BACKGROUND: Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) often complain of prominent pain in shoulder and arm, also there are patients that have pain in their shoulder and arm which is due to myofascial trigger point (MTP) located in their upper trapezius muscle. Despite the frequency of this observation, few studies have previously sought to establish possible relationship between the CTS and MTP in shoulder area.
  • METHODS: Samples were 160 patients (221 hands) consist of 130 females and 30 males, with suspected diagnosis of CTS, from March 2008 to October 2008. In this study after performing electrodiagnosis searches, another evaluation was performed to find out if there was any sign of myofascial trigger point. The correlation between these two was sought.
  • RESULTS: It was found that all of 36 hands with normal electrodiagnostic findings had myofascial trigger points in their upper trapezius muscle. Out of 185 hands, 130 hands (70%) with electrophysiological evidences of CTS showed myofascial trigger points in their trapezius muscles. Statistical analysis revealed significant (p < 0.001) reverse correlation between the severity of CTS and the presence of MTP.
  • CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study imply the significant correlation between occurrence of CTS and MTP. It is suggested that clinicians consider the probability of existence of MTP in patients referred for diagnosis of CTS.
  • KEYWORDS: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Myofascial Trigger Point, Upper Trapezius Muscle, Electrodiagnoses.


Carpal tunnel syndrome, Myofascial trigger point, Upper trapezius muscle, Electrodiagnoses

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