Two articles on PainSci cite Gemmell 2008: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain 2. Trigger Point Doubts
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.
The purpose of this study was to determine the immediate effect of ischaemic compression, trigger point pressure release and placebo ultrasound on pain, degree of cervical lateral flexion and pressure pain threshold of upper trapezius trigger points in subjects with non-specific neck pain. Randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) in Bournemouth, England. Forty-five subjects from the AECC student body between 18 and 55 years of age with non-specific neck pain of at least 30mm on a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, an upper trapezius trigger point and decreased cervical lateral flexion to the opposite side of the active upper trapezius trigger point were entered into the study. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups with 15 subjects in each group: trigger point pressure release, ischaemic compression or sham ultrasound (control group). Neck pain level was determined using a visual analogue scale, degree of lateral flexion was determined using a CROM goniometer and pain pressure thresholds were measured with a pain pressure algometer. All subjects attended one treatment session and outcome measures were repeated within five minutes after treatment. Clinical improvement was considered as a reduction of 20mm or more on the visual analogue scale. Nine subjects in the ischaemic compression group improved after treatment compared to seven subjects in the trigger point pressure release group and four subjects in the control group. The number needed to treat for one patient to improve with ischaemic compression compared to trigger point pressure release was 7.5 (95% CI −4.53 to 2.05). The number needed to treat for one patient to improve with ischaemic compression compared to sham ultrasound was 2.5 (95% CI 1.39–12.51). The odds ratio for improvement with ischaemic compression compared to trigger point pressure release was 1.68 (95% CI 0.41–6.88). The odds ratio for improvement with ischaemic compression compared to sham ultrasound was 5.01 (95% CI 1.19–21.06). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated there was no statistically significant difference beyond chance in pain level, lateral flexion or pain threshold among the groups (P>0.05). Ischaemic compression is superior to sham ultrasound in immediately reducing pain in patients with non-specific neck pain and upper trapezius trigger points. Further research is needed to determine if there is a difference between ischaemic compression and trigger point pressure release.
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:
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- A double-blinded randomised controlled study of the value of sequential intravenous and oral magnesium therapy in patients with chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component. Yousef 2013 Anaesthesia.
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.
- Sudden amnesia resulting in pain relief: the relationship between memory and pain. Choi 2007 Pain.