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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Gulick 2011.

Effect of ischemic pressure using a Backnobber II device on discomfort associated with myofascial trigger points

updated
Gulick DT, Palombaro K, Lattanzi JB. Effect of ischemic pressure using a Backnobber II device on discomfort associated with myofascial trigger points. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2011 Jul;15(3):319–25. PubMed #21665108.
Tags: treatment, self-treatment, devices, massage, muscle pain, manual therapy, muscle, pain problems

PainSci summary of Gulick 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 at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★☆☆☆?2-star ratings are for studies with flaws, bias, and/or conflict of interest; published in lesser journals. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This experiment has the simple elegance of a good science-fair project. Dr. Dawn Gulick of the Widener University Physical Therapy Department simply compared the sensitivity of trigger points both with and without a simple treatment of pressure — squishing them, that is.

Dr. Gulick et al. tested a specific method of squishing: pressing a trigger point firmly and long enough to starve it of some oxygen (ischemic pressure), repeatedly, for several days. They measured trigger point sensitivity before and after treatment in 28 people with two trigger points in the upper back. Their conclusion: “There was a significant difference between the pre- and post-test sensitivities of the treated and non-treated trigger points … ischemic compression … was effective in reducing trigger point irritability.”

Excellent! This is small-scale science, but the results are encouraging and certainly consistent with my professional experience.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of ischemic pressure on myofascial trigger point (MTrP) sensitivity.

DESIGN: Randomized, controlled study with the researcher assessing MTrP sensitivity blinded to the intervention.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-eight people with two MTrPs in the upper back musculature.

INTERVENTION: The sensitivity of two MTrPs in the upper back was assessed with a JTECH algometer. One of the two MTrPs was randomly selected for treatment with a Backnobber II, while the other served as a control.Outcome measures: Pre- and post-test pressure–pain thresholds of the MTrPs.

RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the pre- and post-test sensitivities of the treated and non-treated MTrPs (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study confirm that the protocol of six repetitions of 30-s ischemic compression with the Backnobber II rendered every other day for a week was effective in reducing MTrP irritability.

related content

These three articles on PainScience.com cite Gulick 2011 as a source:


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.