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

John Z. Srbely and James P. Dickey

The objective of this studt was to investigate whether therapeutic ultrasound modulates the pain sensitivity of myofascial trigger points.  Forty-four patients (22 males, 22 females) with trigger points identified within the trapezius muscle were treated with five-minute therapeutic intensity of ultrasound versus 5-min low-intensity application of ultrasound to a trapezius myofascial trigger point locus.Pain pressure threshold readings were measured at thetrapezius trigger point site before and after exposure to the ultrasound        intervention. Pain pressure threshold scores increased an average of 44.4 after therapeutic exposure to ultrasound. No significant difference in pain pressure threshold scores was observed with low-intensity ultrasound exposures.  The authors conclude that 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. 

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2007, 21(5), 411-417 

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