Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of low-frequency self-administered vibration therapy into myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius and levator scapulae on patients with chronic non-specific neck pain.
Methods: Twenty-eight patients with chronic non-specific neck pain were randomly assigned into a vibration group, receiving 10 self-applied sessions of vibration therapy in the upper trapezius and levator scapulae trigger points; or a control group, receiving no intervention. Self-reported neck pain and disability (Neck Disability Index) and pressure pain threshold were assessed at baseline and after the first, fifth and 10th treatment sessions.
Findings: Significant differences were found in the vibration group when compared to the control group after the treatment period: the vibration group reached lower Neck Disability Index scores (F = 4.74, P = .033, η2 = 0.07) and greater pressure pain threshold values (F = 7.56, P = .01, η2 = 0.10) than the control group. The vibration group reported a significant reduction in Neck Disability Index scores (χ2 = 19,35, P = .00, Kendall's W = 0.28) and an increase in pressure pain threshold (χ2 = 87,10, P = .00, Kendall's W = 0.73) between the assessment times over the course of the treatment. The mean increase in pressure pain threshold in the vibration group after the 10 sessions was 8.54 N/cm2, while the mean reduction in Neck Disability Index scores was 4.53 points.
Interpretation: Vibration therapy may be an effective intervention for reducing self-reported neck pain and disability and pressure pain sensitivity in patients with chronic non-specific neck pain. This tool could be recommended for people with non-specific neck pain.
Keywords: Neck pain; Pain threshold; Rehabilitation; Trigger points; Vibration.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.