The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and interferential therapy (IFT) both in combination with hot pack, myofascial release, active range of motion exercise, and a home exercise program on myofascial pain syndrome patients with upper trapezius myofascial trigger point. A total of 105 patients with an upper trapezius myofascial trigger point were recruited to this single-blind randomized controlled trial. Following random allocation of patients to three groups, three therapeutic regimens-control-standard care (hot pack, active range of motion exercises, myofascial release, and a home exercise program with postural advice), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation-standard care and IFT-standard care-were administered eight times during 4 wks at regular intervals. Pain intensity and cervical range of motions (cervical extension, lateral flexion to the contralateral side, and rotation to the ipsilateral side) were measured at baseline, immediately after the first treatment, before the eighth treatment, and 1 wk after the eighth treatment. Immediate and short-term improvements were marked in the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation group (n = 35) compared with the IFT group (n = 35) and the control group (n = 35) with respect to pain intensity and cervical range of motions (P < 0.05). The IFT group showed significant improvement on these outcome measurements than the control group did (P < 0.05).
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation with standard care facilitates recovery better than IFT does in the same combination.