Effects of Local Ischemic Compression on Upper Limb Latent Myofascial Trigger Points: A Study of Subjective Pain and Linear Motor Performance

Rehabil Res Pract. 2019 Mar 4;2019:5360924. doi: 10.1155/2019/5360924. eCollection 2019.


Objective: To analyse the effect of the manual ischemic compression (IC) on the upper limb motor performance (MP) in patients with LTrPs.

Materials and methods: A quasiexperimental study was performed in twenty subjects allocated to either patients group with LTrPs (PG, n=10) or healthy group with no symptoms (HG, n=10). Subjective pain and linear MP (movement time and Fitts' Law) were assessed before and after a linear tapping task. Data were analysed with mixed factorial ANOVA for intergroup linear motor performance differences and dependent t-student test for intragroup pain differences.

Results: PG had a linear MP lower than the HG before treatment (p < 0.05). After IC, the PG showed a significant decrease of pain (4.07 ± 1.91 p < 0.001). Furthermore, the movement time (15.70 ± 2.05 p < 0.001) and the Fitts' Law coefficient (0.80 ± 0.53 p < 0.001) were significantly reduced. However, one IC session did not allow the PG to get the same MP than the HG (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results suggest the IC effectiveness on pain and MP impairment in subjects with LTrPs. However, the MP of these patients is only partially improved after the IC application.