The Effect of Four Weeks Manual Compressive Therapy on Latent Myofascial Trigger Point Pressure Pain Thresholds
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Context: Manual Compressive Therapy (MCT) is thought to have the best results for treating latent myofascial trigger points (LTPs) and increasing the pressure pain threshold (PPT) associated with them. There have been few investigations that have investigated MCT over an extended period of time to determine if PPTs continue to increase or resolve the LTP altogether.
Objective: To compare three MCT treatments over 90 seconds between separate groups, and each subject’s individual PPT on their LTP for 4 weeks.
Design: Randomized, controlled, observational investigation, single-blinded.
Setting: University Athletic Training Room.
Patients or Other Participants: A total of 30 (15 men, 15 women; age = 22 ± 4 y/o, height = 175 ± 18 cm, weight = 162.5 ± 57.5 kg) healthy individuals with LTPs volunteered.
Intervention(s): Manual Compressive Therapy was introduced for 90 seconds to three different groups of subjects, each of which had their own intervention. Group 1 received MCT on their LTP at low pressure (1/10 on verbalized analog scale). Group 2 received MCT on their LTP at extensive pressure (7/10 on verbalized analog scale). Group 3 received MCT in close-proximity to their LTP with moderate pressure (5-7/10 on verbalized analog scale).
Main Outcome Measure(s): Pre and post-therapy PPTs for each week of treatment.
Results: There was a significant increase in the measures from the first through the twelfth session of treatment (Greenhouse-Geisser epsilon = .33, F(12, 324) = 47.1, p < .0001, partial eta2 = .914). There was also a significantly greater increase in measures from the second through the twelfth session of treatment for the treatment groups that were either on-trigger-point or in close-proximity to the trigger point, compared to the control group. A significant overall increase in measures of PPTs was observed from the pre-therapy tests (5.44 ± 1.65) to the post-therapy tests (5.94 ± 1.81) as a result of the treatment sessions. The differences between the pre- versus post-MCT measures for each type of treatment (group) indicated a significant difference between the on-trigger-point treatment and the control group, p < .0001, as well as between the close-proximity treatment and the control group, p = .007.
Conclusions: This investigation has shown evidence that there was a significant benefit during on-trigger-point to control (p < .0001) and close-proximity to control (p = .007) after performing MCT for an extended period of time (four weeks), both on the LTP, and in close-proximity for a resulting higher PPT for the subject.