The relationship between latent trigger point and muscle strength in healthy subjects: a double-blind study
One article on PainSci cites Celik 2011: The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain
PainSci commentary on Celik 2011: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
Do trigger points cause weakness? This study suggests that either they do not, or it’s not a direct and simple effect on the muscle they are found in. 22 people with no trigger points were strength tested and compared to 28 who had at least two trigger points in their shoulder muscles on their dominant side. In the people who had trigger points, there was no difference from side to side. There was a barely statistically significant weakness compared to people with no trigger points. This isn’t much evidence of anything except that trigger points don’t have a clear effect on strength.
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Trigger points on the palpable taut bands of the muscles are promoted as an important cause of musculoskeletal pain. Our hypothesis was latent trigger points (LTrPs) could decrease muscle strength also in healthy people. «Apparently assuming that it’s a given in unhealthy people?»
OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between LTrPs and muscle strength in a group of healthy adults.
METHODS: In total fifty healthy adults (20 women and 30 men) were included in the study. Trigger point examination for upper and middle trapezius, supraspinatus, serratus anterior and rhomboid major and minor were done bilaterally according to four criteria. Subjects who have at least two trigger points in dominant side were assigned to Group 1 (28 subjects), subjects who don't have any trigger points were assigned to Group 2 (23 subjects). Muscle strength for flexion and scaption was assessed with a Hand-Held Dynamometer (HHD) as break test on both sides. Both the subjects and the examiners were blind. For statistical analysis, independent sample t test was used to compare the differences between two groups.
RESULTS: No significant differences were found in muscle strength between dominant and non-dominant sides in both groups (p>0.05). Significant difference was observed in both sides when comparison of muscle strength between Group 1 and 2, muscle strength was lower in subjects who had trigger points (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that although there is not significant difference between dominant and non-dominant side, muscle strength is lower significantly in both sides in subjects who have trigger points in comparison with healthy subjects. Our results underline the importance of palpation of LTrPs in scapular and shoulder muscles in healthy subjects as they may contribute to the muscle strength. Further research is needed to facilitate a better understanding of the mechanism of LTrPs and to test the relationship with muscle strength.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.
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