Effectiveness of myofascial trigger point therapy in chronic back pain patients is considerably increased when combined with a new, integrated, low-frequency shock wave vibrotherapy (Cellconnect Impulse): A two-armed, measurement repeated, randomized, controlled pragmatic trial

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2018 Feb 6;31(1):57-64. doi: 10.3233/BMR-169662.


Background: The prevalence of chronic back pain poses major challenges for all health care systems and patients worldwide. Myofascial trigger therapy (MT), although a very popular standard non-pharmaceutical form of treatment, only shows small to medium effectiveness.

Objective: To test a new vibrotreatment (Cellconnect Impulse) transmitting low-frequency, vertical shock waves in a routine clinical practice.

Methods: Eligible patients were adults seeking physiotherapeutic treatment. They were randomly allocated to either six treatments of MT or to six treatments of combined MT and vibrotreatment. Outcome parameters were pain intensity, pain days, pain duration, and quality of life.

Results: The pain relieving effects of the combined treatment were very large (d= 1.6). It clearly outperformed MT and considerably improved patients' health related quality of life.

Conclusions: Combining MT with Cellconnect Impulse enhances the physiotherapeutic effectiveness of treating chronic back pain.

Keywords: Cellconnect Impulse; chronic back pain; myofascial trigger point therapy; quality of life; vibrotherapy.

Publication types

  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Trigger Points*
  • Young Adult