Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 18231
  Title CCA Young Investigator Award. Stimulation of myofascial trigger points causes systematic physiological effects [abstract]
Journal J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2005 Jun;49(2):75
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes PURPOSE: Myofascial trigger points (TrP) are discrete palpable hyperirritable loci within taut bands of skeletal muscle; pressure application elicits a referral sensation/paresthesiae. There is growing body of evidence suggesting that a substantial proportion of common adult musculoskeletal pain syndromes are manifestations of myofascial trigger point activity. The possible role of neuroadaptive processes such as long-term potentiation/central sensitization, and potential management via modalities such as spinal manipulative therapy, is of special interest to the authors. This study will explore the neurophysiological interactions of the trigger point complex by evaluating whether stimulation of one TrP site can influence the pain sensitivity at another trigger point site innervated by the same neurological segment(s).

METHODS: The study involves stimulation of a trigger point locus within the supraspinatus muscle (via intramuscular dry needling). The supraspinatus TrP will be confirmed by the presence of a visible local twitch response within the muscle, evoked during needle penetration. Raw painpressure threshold values (PPT) will be recorded from a trigger point site within the ipsilateral infraspinatus muscle at selected time intervals of 1, 2, 5 and 15 minutes. A baseline (pre-needling) reading will be recorded and the absolute PPT readings at each time interval (1-15 min) represented as a ratio of this baseline value.

RESULTS: Figure 1 illustrates representative data for one of the pilot subjects in our study. PPT readings in the infraspinatus sharply increase (i.e. decreased trigger point sensitivity) for the first two minutes post-needling. At the 2 minute mark, the PPT values tend to stabilize. Interestingly, the PPT values once again demonstrate a gradual, distinct rise between the 5 to 15 minute period, suggestive of a further decline in sensitivity at the infraspinatus site.

Full text is available free online for this abstract; click on the above link. This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.

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