Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the intra- and interexaminer reliability of the upper trapezius muscle and fascia thickness measured by ultrasonography imaging and strain ratio by sonoelastography in participants with myofascial pain syndrome.
Methods: Thirty-two upper trapezius muscles were assessed. Two examiners measured the upper trapezius thickness and strain ratio 3 times by ultrasonography and sonoelastography independently in the test session. The retest session was completed 6 to 8 days later.
Results: A total of 87.5% of participants had trigger points on the right side, and 22.5% had trigger points on the left side. For the test session, the average upper trapezius thickness, fascia thickness, and strain ratio measured by first and second examiners were 11.86 mm and 11.56 mm, 1.23 mm and 1.25 mm, and 0.94 and 0.99, respectively. For the retest session, the previously mentioned parameters obtained by first and second examiners were 11.76 mm and 11.39 mm, 1.27 mm and 1.29 mm, and 0.96 and 0.99, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients indicated good to excellent reliability for both within-intraexaminer (0.78-0.96) and between-intraexaminer (0.75-0.98) measurements. Also, the intraclass correlation coefficients and standard errors of measurement of interexaminer reliability ranged between 0.88 to 0.93 and 0.05 to 0.44 for both muscle and fascia thickness and 0.70 to 0.75 and 0.04 to 0.20 for strain ratio of upper trapezius, respectively.
Conclusion: Upper trapezius thickness measurements by ultrasonography and strain ratio by sonoelastography are reliable methods in participants with myofascial pain syndrome.
Author keywords: Trigger Points; Ultrasonography: Diagnostic Imaging; Elasticity Imaging Techniques; Myofascial Pain Syndromes
Author affiliations: University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (Iran / Tehran); Rehabilitation Faculty of Iran University of Medical Sciences. Physiotherapy Department (Iran / Tehran); Guilan University of Medical Sciences. Physiotherapy Department (Iran / Rasht); Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Radiology Department (Iran / Tehran)
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