Normative data for neuromuscular assessment of the hand–arm vibration syndrome and its retrospective applications in Korean male workers
Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe normative data for the neuromuscular assessments of the hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in Korean.
Methods Data for the vibrotactile perception threshold (VPT) at three frequencies (31.5, 125, and 250 Hz), the hand grip strength (HGS), the finger pinch strength (FPS), the finger tapping test, and the Purdue pegboard tests were collected from 120 male office workers aged 30–59 years with no prior history of regular use of handheld vibrating tools. The collected data were compared with the results of a similar study of shipbuilding workers in order to investigate the diagnostic utility of clinical test for HAVS.
Results The mean VPT values indicate that no significant differences were observed between the dominant and non-dominant hands or between the index and little fingers. The age group of 30s was highly sensitive to vibration input with a peak in sensitivity at 125 Hz among all age groups. In neuromuscular performance, dominant hands are usually more accurate, dexterous, and functionally quicker than non-dominant hands. The index finger was superior to the little finger in the finger tapping counts (p < 0.05). Also, FPS was greater in the index finger than in the middle finger (p < 0.05). The HGS of dominant hands was significantly stronger than that of non-dominant hands (p < 0.05). When the normative data were compared with the data of shipyard workers exposed to vibration, there were statistically significant differences in VPT and neuromuscular functions.
Conclusions The current data can be used to evaluate HAVS in Korean male workers. Age is an important factor for VPT.