Background: Active muscular trigger points (aMTPs) presenting with radiating pain can interfere in diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from lumbosacral radiculopathy.
Objectives: We aimed to diagnose and evaluate the trigger point therapy on the outcome of pain in patients with lumbosacral radiculopathy.
Materials and methods: A total of 98 patients were enrolled suffered with chronic pain andlumbosacral radiculopathy at L4-L5 and L5-S1 who were candidates of non-surgical management. All patients received conservative modalities, including bed rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID), and physiotherapy. These treatments continued for a week. Patients were examined for the presence of trigger points in their lower extremities. Those who had trigger points were divided into 2 groups (TP and N). Patients in TP group underwent trigger point injection therapy. No further therapy was done for the N group. Pain scores and straight leg raise (SLR) test in both groups were collected and analyzed on the seventh and 10th days of the therapy. Results were analyzed by paired t test and chi-square test.
Results: Out of 98 patients, 64 had trigger points. Thirty-two patients were assigned to each group. Pain scores (Mean ± SD) in TP group was 7.12 ± 1.13 and in N group was 6.7 ± 1.16, P = 0.196. Following the treatment, pain scores were 2.4 ± 1.5 in TP group and 4.06 ± 1.76 in N group P = 0.008. SLR test became negative in all patients in TP group but only in 6 (19%) patients in N group, P = 0.001.
Conclusions: Results show that trigger point injection therapy in patients suffering from chronic lumbosacral radiculopathy with trigger points can significantly improve their recovery, and conservative therapy may not be adequate.
Keywords: Low Back Pain; Radiculopathy; Trigger Point.