Background: Although there is some evidence that massage therapy, especially compression at myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), is effective for sub-acute and chronic low back pain, the effectiveness of massage therapy with compression at MTrPs for acute low back pain has not been studied.
Methods: To evaluate the effectiveness of compression at MTrPs for acute low back pain, 63 patients with acute low back pain were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the MTrP group who received compression at MTrPs (N = 23), the non-MTrP group who received compression at non-trigger points (N = 21), and the effleurage massage group who received superficial massage (N = 19). The patients received the assigned treatment 3 times/week for 2 weeks. The subjective pain intensity in static and dynamic conditions and disability caused by low back pain were measured by the visual analogue scale (VAS) and Roland-Morris questionnaire (RMQ), respectively; along with the range of motion (ROM) at the lumbar region and pressure pain threshold (PPT) at trigger points before treatment (baseline), 1 week after the start of treatment, and 1 month after the end of treatment (follow-up).
Results: Static and dynamic VAS score, PPT and ROM were significantly improved in the MTrP group compared with those in the non-MTrP and effleurage groups.
Conclusions: These results indicate that compression at MTrPs is effective to treat acute low back pain compared with compression at non-MTrPs and superficial massage. For this article, a commentary is available at the Wiley Online Library.
© 2015 European Pain Federation - EFIC®