Objective: This study compared the immediate effect of manual pressure release (MPR) and strain/counterstrain (SCs) techniques on latent trigger point of the upper trapezius muscle.
Methods: Sixty-six volunteers (mean age, 24.73 ± 1.63 years) participated in this study. Subjects underwent a screening process to establish the presence of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the upper trapezius muscle. Subjects were divided randomly into 3 groups: MPR group, SCs group and a placebo group, which received a sham ultrasound. The outcome measure was the pressure pain threshold (PPT) and visual analogue scale (VAS) on the MTrP in the upper trapezius muscle by an assessor blinded to the treatment allocation of the subject.
Results: The experimental groups showed a trend toward an increase in PPT levels and decrease in VAS after the intervention procedures. Within-group effect sizes were large in the MPR and SCs groups (d > 1), and small to medium in the placebo group (d ∼ 0.4). Comparing MPR and SCs groups showed significant differences in PPT and VAS changes (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: MPR and SCs techniques are superior to sham ultrasound in immediately reducing pain in patients with non-specific neck pain and upper trapezius MTrP, but MPR technique is better than SCs technique.
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