Effect of Manual Therapy Interventions on Range of Motion Among Individuals with Myofascial Trigger Points
- RRS Education
Myofascial pain is a significant cause of musculoskeletal pain and is among the most common causes of healthcare visits and disability. Myofascial pain is typically characterized by myofascial trigger points (MTP) – hyperirritable regions within the bands of skeletal muscle. MTPs are often associated with predictable patterns of pain referral and are characterized by increased muscle tension and shortening, muscle weakness/fatigue and decrease mobility. MTPs are diagnosed on physical examination, one of the key components of which is evaluation of range of motion (ROM). Although there is little evidence to support a cause-effect relationship between ROM changes and MTPs, evidence noting that alterations in ROM are present in myofascial pain patients is available. The objective nature of ROM also makes it a potentially valuable evaluation tool in diagnosis and treatment evaluation.
Treatment for MTPs includes manual therapies, which are popular due to their non-invasive, non-pharmacological nature and their low cost and safety characteristics. Relevant manual therapies range from ischemic compression and stretching to manual release techniques to soft tissue mobilization techniques.
Manual techniques are well-accepted for the general treatment of MTPs, although the evidence specifically in support of these treatments for the impaired ROM associated with MTPs is scarce. The goal of this study, therefore, was to systematically review and meta-analyze the evidence for manual therapies as a method for increasing ROM in patients with MTPs.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Effect of Manual Therapy Interventions on Range of Motion Among Individuals with Myofascial Trigger Points”
This paper was published in Pain Medicine (2022) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Trigger Points and the 2022 Archive.