Clinical massage and modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching in males with latent myofascial trigger points

Phys Ther Sport. 2010 Aug;11(3):91-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 May 5.


Objectives: To determine the immediate effects of modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching (group I) versus Myofascial Trigger Point (MTrP) therapy plus modified PNF stretching (group II) in comparison to a control group receiving no treatment.

Design: Randomized, assessor-blind, (3 x 4) mixed-model repeated measures.

Setting: University laboratory.

Participants: Thirty physically active males with tight hamstrings and at least one latent MTrP on muscles innervated by the lumbosacral, sciatic, tibial and common peroneal nerves.

Main outcome measures: Knee range of motion (ROM), stretch perception, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and subjective pain intensity. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline, immediately after treatment, at 10 and 30 min.

Results: Significant changes over time occurred for group II in all outcomes (p < or = 0.001). Group II also showed lower pain intensity scores than group I immediately post-treatment (p = 0.045) and a strong clinical effect over group I in ROM at all follow-ups (effect sizes = 0.9-1.0, p < or = 0.05). Other differences were found between both stretching groups as compared to the control group (p < or = 0.05).

Conclusion: The results indicate immediate pre- to post-treatment benefits from MTrP therapy combined with modified PNF stretching in young and physically active males with latent MTrPs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Young Adult