Update on the efficacy of extracorporeal shockwave treatment for myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia

Int J Surg. 2015 Dec;24(Pt B):201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2015.08.083. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Chronic muscle pain syndrome is one of the main causes of musculoskeletal pathologies requiring treatment. Many terms have been used in the past to describe painful muscular syndromes in the absence of evident local nociception such as myogelosis, muscle hardening, myalgia, muscular rheumatism, fibrositis or myofascial trigger point with or without referred pain. If it persists over six months or more, it often becomes therapy resistant and frequently results in chronic generalized pain, characterized by a high degree of subjective suffering. Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is defined as a series of sensory, motor, and autonomic symptoms caused by a stiffness of the muscle, caused by hyperirritable nodules in musculoskeletal fibers, known as myofascial trigger points (MTP), and fascial constrictions. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic condition that involves both central and peripheral sensitization and for which no curative treatment is available at the present time. Fibromyalgia shares some of the features of MPS, such as hyperirritability. Many treatments options have been described for muscle pain syndrome, with differing evidence of efficacy. Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (ESWT) offers a new and promising treatment for muscular disorders. We will review the existing bibliography on the evidence of the efficacy of ESWT for MPS, paying particular attention to MTP (Myofascial Trigger Point) and Fibromyalgia (FM).

Keywords: Efficacy; Fibromyalgia; Myofascial pain; Shockwave; Tender point; Trigger point.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*