PainSci summary of Hsueh 1997?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.
The authors conclude, “ENS is more effective for immediate relief of myofascial trigger point pain than EMS, and EMS has a better effect on immediate release of muscle tightness than ENS,” and both of them outperformed placebo.
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.
This study is designed to investigate the immediate effectiveness of electrotherapy on myofascial trigger points of upper trapezius muscle. Sixty patients (25 males and 35 females) who had myofascial trigger points in one side of the upper trapezius muscles were studied. The involved upper trapezius muscles were treated with three different methods according to a random assignment: group A muscles (n = 18) were given placebo treatment (control group); group B muscles (n = 20) were treated with electrical nerve stimulation (ENS) therapy; and group C muscles (n = 22) were given electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) therapy. The effectiveness of treatment was assessed by conducting three measurements on each muscle before and immediately after treatment: subjective pain intensity [(PI) with a visual analog scale], pressure pain threshold [(PT) with algometry], and range of motion [(ROM) with a goniometer] of upper trapezius muscle (lateral bending of cervical spine to the opposite side). When the effectiveness of treatment was compared with that of the placebo group (group A), there was significant improvement in PI and PT in group B (P < 0.01) but not in group C (P> 0.05). The improvement of ROM was significantly more in group C (P < 0.01) as compared with that in group A or group B. When each group was divided into two additional subgroups based on the initial PI, it was found that ENS could reduce PI and increase PT significantly (P < 0.05), but did not significantly (P> 0.05) improve ROM, as compared with the placebo group for both subgroups. EMS could significantly (P < 0.05) improve ROM, but not PT, better than the placebo groups, for either subgroup. It could reduce PI significantly more (P < 0.05) than placebo controls only for the subgroup with mild to moderate pain, but not with severe pain. For pain relief, ENS was significantly better (P < 0.05) than EMS; but for the improvement of ROM, EMS was significantly better (P < 0.05) than ENS. It is concluded that ENS is more effective for immediate relief of myofascial trigger point pain than EMS, and EMS has a better effect on immediate release of muscle tightness than ENS.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Hsueh 1997 as a source:
- The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain — An extremely detailed guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and treatment option
- Zapped! Does TENS work for pain? — The peculiar popularity of being gently zapped with electrical stimulation therapy
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:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.