The effectiveness of non-invasive treatments for active myofascial trigger point pain: A systematic review of the literature

Luke D. Rickards

The objective of this study was to review the evidence for the effectiveness of non-invasive interventions in the treatment of patients with myofascial pain resulting from active myofascial trigger points. Randomised controlled trials or quasi-randomised trials examining the effectiveness of non-invasive treatments for myofascial trigger point pain were included where the criteria for the diagnosis of trigger points were clearly stated and acceptable. According to the results of this review there is a significant evidence that laser therapy and TENS may be effective as a short-term intervention for reducing pain intensity in myofascial trigger point pain of the neck and upper back.  There is limited evidence for the use of FREMS, HVGS, EMS and IFC for myofascial trigger point pain.  The authors concluded that current evidence suggests that only a few of the numerous non-invasive physical treatments proposed for myofascial pain resulting from active myofascial trigger points may be effective, however, the clinical effectiveness of these interventions requires further research in higher quality trails.

International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2006, Pages 120-136

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