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Clin Rehabil. 2007 May;21(5):411-7.

Randomized controlled study of the antinociceptive effect of ultrasound on trigger point sensitivity: novel applications in myofascial therapy?

Author information

1
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. jsrbely@uoguelph.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether therapeutic ultrasound modulates the pain sensitivity of myofascial trigger points.

DESIGN:

Repeated measures, single-blinded randomized controlled trial of ultrasound treatment of trigger points.

SETTING:

Outpatient injury rehabilitation clinic.

SUBJECTS:

Forty-four patients (22 males, 22 females) with trigger points identified within the trapezius muscle.

INTERVENTIONS:

Five-minute therapeutic intensity of ultrasound versus 5-min low-intensity application of ultrasound to a trapezius myofascial trigger point locus.

MAIN MEASURES:

Pain pressure threshold readings were measured at the trapezius trigger point site before and after exposure to the ultrasound intervention.

RESULTS:

Pain pressure threshold scores increased an average of 44.4 (14.2)% after therapeutic exposure to ultrasound (pre-ultrasound test 35.4 (8.5) N, post-ultrasound test 51.1 (12.8) N). No significant difference in pain pressure threshold scores was observed with low-intensity ultrasound exposures (pre-ultrasound 36.1 (6.1) N, post-ultrasound 36.6 (4.8) N).

CONCLUSIONS:

Therapeutic exposures to ultrasound reduce short-term trigger point sensitivity. Ultrasound may be a useful clinical tool for the treatment and management of trigger points and myofascial pain syndromes.

PMID:
17613561
DOI:
10.1177/0269215507073342
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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