Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ischemic pressure (IP) vs postisometric relaxation (PIR) on rhomboid-muscle latent trigger points (LTrPs).
Methods: Forty-five participants with rhomboid-muscle LTrPs were randomly assigned into 3 groups and received 3 weeks of treatment-group A: IP and traditional treatment (infrared radiation, ultrasonic therapy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation); group B: PIR and traditional treatment; and group C: traditional treatment. Shoulder pain and disability, neck pain and disability, and pressure pain threshold (PPT) of 3 points on each side were measured before and after treatment.
Results: Multivariate analysis of variance indicated a statistically significant Group × Time interaction (P = .005). The PPT for the right lower point was increased in group A more than in groups B or C. Neck pain was reduced in group B more than in group C. Moreover, shoulder and neck disability were reduced in both groups A and B more than in group C. The PPTs of the left lower and middle points were increased in group B compared with groups A and C. The PPT of the left upper point was increased in group A more than in group C. There were significant changes in all outcomes in the 2 experimental groups (P < .05). No changes were found in the control group except in pain intensity, shoulder disability, and PPT of the left lower point.
Conclusion: This study found that IP may be more effective than PIR regarding PPT, but both techniques showed changes in the treatment of rhomboid-muscle LTrPs.
Author keywords: Superficial Back Muscles; Trigger Points; Musculoskeletal Manipulations; Physical Therapy Modalities
Author affiliations: EMF: Basic Science Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; ARI: Basic Science Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; Physiotherapy Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; AME: Basic Science Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Pharos University in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.
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