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Volume 4 (2004), Pages 111-117
Research Article

Handgrip Strength as a Diagnostic Tool in Work-Related Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders in Women

1Department of Physiotherapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel
2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
3Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel

Received 20 January 2004; Revised 29 January 2004; Accepted 30 January 2004

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2004 Deborah Alperovitch-Najenson et al.


The aim of this study was to determine if handgrip strength might be used as a diagnostic tool in musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities in women working in an industrial environment. The setting was an electronic factory with four groups of women (n = 101) in a factory assembling electronic components. Handgrip strength was measured using a Jamar® hydraulic hand dynamometer. The study investigated grip strength in managers-engineers, cable wiring, circuit board assembly, integrated circuits women at 90? elbow flexion and 180? elbow extension. Women seeking or receiving medical care for musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremities or neck showed significant declines (p < 0.01) in handgrip strength and these also related to the type of work and the level of perceived physical exertion. Women in the managerial-engineering group showed fewer musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity compared with the other groups and also had significantly stronger handgrip. Our findings encourage us to recommend hand dynamometer testing as a useful diagnostic tool to determine loss of handgrip strength.