OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pain/pressure threshold of selected myofascial points in subjects with chronic mechanical back pain after a single manipulation or mobilization.
DESIGN: The study design was a randomized control trial.
SETTING: Chiropractic College outpatient clinic.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty subjects aged 18-50 yr (mean age 31 yr, SD = 7 yr) with chronic mechanical low back pain (mean duration of pain 74 months, SD = 83 months) were randomized into two groups. One group received a manipulation and the other received a mobilization.
OUTCOME MEASURE: Pain/pressure threshold of selected myofascial points were measured before, immediately after, and 15 and 30 min postintervention.
RESULTS: Sixteen patients were allocated to the manipulation group and 14 to the mobilization group. Repeated measured analysis of variance for all locations failed to show clinical or statistical significance (p > .287). The overall effect between treatments and the interaction between treatment and time was not significant (p > .268).
CONCLUSION: The absence of significant changes may be attributed to the selection of myofascial points, the instrument sensitivity to small changes, the differences in baseline measures and the absence of effect from one intervention.