Research: GEMMELL and HILLAND,

Listed in Issue 198

Abstract

GEMMELL and HILLAND, Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, 13-15 Parkwood Road, Bournemouth, BH5 2DF, UK. hgemmell@aecc.ac.uk studied electric point stimulation in the treatment of upper trapezius trigger points.

Background

The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effect of electric point stimulation in treating latent upper trapezius trigger points compared to placebo.

Methodology

Double blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. Sixty participants with latent upper trapezius trigger points. Interventions: Electric point stimulator type of TENS, or detuned (inactive) electric point stimulator type of TENS. Main Outcome Measures: The three outcome measures were pressure pain threshold at the trigger point, a numerical rating scale for pain elicited over the trigger point, and lateral cervical flexion to the side opposite the trigger point.

Results

On the outcome of pressure pain threshold the electric point stimulator group had a mean change of 0.49 (0.99) kg/cm(2), while the placebo group had a mean change of 0.45 (0.98) kg/cm(2) (t = 0.16, df = 58, p = 0.88). For change in pain over the trigger point, the electric point stimulator group had a mean decrease of 0.93 (0.87) points, while the placebo group had a mean decrease of 0.23 (0.97) points (t = 0.70, df = 58, p = 0.005). On the outcome of change in lateral cervical flexion the electric point stimulator group had a mean increase of 2.87 (4.55) degrees, while the placebo group had a mean increase of 1.99 (2.49) degrees (t = 0.92, df = 58, p = 0.36).

Conclusion

Electric point stimulator type of TENS is superior to placebo only in reduction of pain for treating latent upper trapezius trigger points.

References

Gemmell H and Hilland A. Immediate effect of electric point stimulation (TENS) in treating latent upper trapezius trigger points: a double blind randomised placebo-controlled trial. Source Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. 15(3):348-54. Jul 2011.

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