Additional Effect of Static Ultrasound and Diadynamic Currents on Myofascial Trigger Points in a Manual Therapy Program for Patients With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Apr;96(4):243-252. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000595.


Objective: To assess the additional effect of static ultrasound and diadynamic currents on myofascial trigger points in a manual therapy program to treat individuals with chronic neck pain.

Design: A single-blind randomized trial was conducted. Both men and women, between ages 18 and 45, with chronic neck pain and active myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius were included in the study. Subjects were assigned to 3 different groups: group 1 (n = 20) was treated with manual therapy; group 2 (n = 20) was treated with manual therapy and static ultrasound; group 3 (n = 20) was treated with manual therapy and diadynamic currents. Individuals were assessed before the first treatment session, 48 hours after the first treatment session, 48 hours after the tenth treatment session, and 4 weeks after the last session.

Results: There was no group-versus-time interaction for Numeric Rating Scale, Neck Disability Index, Pain-Related Self-Statement Scale, pressure pain threshold, cervical range of motion, and skin temperature (F-value range, 0.089-1.961; P-value range, 0.106-0.977). Moreover, we found no differences between groups regarding electromyographic activity (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The use of static ultrasound or diadynamic currents on myofascial trigger points in upper trapezius associated with a manual therapy program did not generate greater benefits than manual therapy alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations*
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Trigger Points / physiology*
  • Ultrasonic Therapy*
  • Young Adult