Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of combined manual therapy (MT) and diadynamic (DD) currents on myofascial trigger points of the upper trapezius muscle in individuals with a diagnosis of unilateral shoulder impingement syndrome.
Methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted involving 60 individuals with shoulder impingement syndrome who were allocated to the following 3 groups: (1) MT and DD currents (MTDD), (2) MT alone, and (3) DD currents alone. The participants were submitted to 16 treatment sessions over an 8-week period and were evaluated using the Numerical Rating Pain Scale as well as the pain and disability subscales of the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index.
Results: Differences in Numerical Rating Pain Scale scores (secondary outcome) between MTDD and MT groups (mean difference 2.25 points, 95% confidence interval 1.07-3.42) and between MTDD and DD groups (mean difference 2.30 points, 95% confidence interval 1.42-3.17) were clinically relevant. No clinical gains were observed in the comparisons between groups of Shoulder Pain and Disability Index scores.
Conclusion: The combination of MT and DD currents on myofascial trigger points was more effective at reducing pain intensity but not disability than each therapy performed individually for patients with unilateral shoulder impingement syndrome.
Author keywords: Shoulder Pain, Physical Therapy Modalities, Myofascial Pain Syndromes, Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Author affiliations: CAFG: Department of Physical Therapy, Nove de Julho University, São Paulo, Brazil; AVD-F: Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Maranhão, São Luís, Brazil; TOG, DAB-G: Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Nove de Julho University, São Paulo, Brazil
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