Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 57001 Thermi Thessaloniki
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Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of two treatment protocols of manual techniques and physical modalities in subjects with active trigger point of the upper trapezius muscle.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of the therapeutic combination of the Integrated Neuromuscular Inhibition Technique (INIT), (manual trigger points deactivation technique), and physical therapy modalities (thermotherapy, laser, TENS and massage) in an integrated physiotherapy regimen for the management of the myofascial cervical pain.
Methods: Thirty-nine participants with active trigger points in the upper trapezius were randomly divided into two groups: physical modalities + INIT group, (n=20) and physical modalities group (n=19). Pain intensity, Cervical Range of Motion (ROM) and pressure pain sensitivity were measured before and after the intervention, (5 sessions in 2 weeks). The analysis of the variance with repeated measures ANOVA was applied, and the significance level was set at p <0,05.
Results: Statistically significant differences were observed in all variables tested before and after the intervention in both groups. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain score and pressure pain sensitivity was diminished while cervical lateral bending ROM was increased. However, participants in the combine treatment protocol group showed a greater, statistically significant improvement, compared to those in the control group.
Conclusions: The addition of a 10-minute INIT application to the upper trapezius muscle, to a physiotherapy program which included a combination of physical therapy modalities, seemed to have a better immediate effect on patients with severe pain, due to active trigger point in the upper trapezius muscles.
Keywords: Physical Therapy Modalities; Upper Trapezius Trigger Point Therapy; Manual Techniques; Integrated Neuromuscular Inhibition Technique.