Document Detail

Thermal ultrasound decreases tissue stiffness of trigger points in upper trapezius muscles.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20331373     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
ABSTRACT Many trigger point therapies, such as deep pressure massage and injection, are painful. Thermal ultrasound might be a comfortable procedure used to soften trigger points. Our objective was to compare thermal ultrasound with sham ultrasound in the ability to soften trigger points with pretest/posttest repeated-measures design for depth of tissue in a massage therapy clinic. Twenty-six patients with latent trigger points in their upper trapezius muscles were studied. Independent variables were treatments; dependent variables were tissue depth. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the treatment or sham group. The study was single-blinded; the investigator taking the measurements was blinded to which group the subjects were in, and the clinician treating with ultrasound was blinded to the measurements. Each trigger point in the treatment group received 3 MHz ultrasound at the following parameters: 1.4 W/cm(2), 5 min, circular motion, 2x the size of the 7 cm(2) soundhead. The ultrasound was not turned on for the sham group. This procedure was repeated one week later. Trigger point depth was measured with a pressure algometer before and immediately after each treatment. A 2 x 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze depth (mm). The immediate effects were as follows: The mean depth value for the sham group was an increase of 0.64+/-0.33 mm; the treatment group's mean increase was 2.65+/-0.33 mm (F(1,24)=19.01; p=0.01). The residual effects were as follows: The two treatments over the course of the 2 weeks also showed that the trigger points of the ultrasound groups got softer with an increase in depth of 2.09+/-0.82 mm compared to -0.93+/-0.82 mm of the sham group (F(1,24)=6.81; p<0.01). Thermal ultrasound over latent trigger points is comfortable and can decrease stiffness of a trigger point.
David O Draper; Chad Mahaffey; David Kaiser; Dennis Eggett; Jake Jarmin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiotherapy theory and practice     Volume:  26     ISSN:  1532-5040     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiother Theory Pract     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-24     Completed Date:  2010-07-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9015520     Medline TA:  Physiother Theory Pract     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  167-72     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Middle Aged
Muscle Contraction*
Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology,  therapy*
Single-Blind Method
Treatment Outcome
Ultrasonic Therapy*
Young Adult

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