Background: Thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (CMC OA) is a common disorder that interferes with the ability to perform the activities of daily life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of ischemic compression on myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle in patients with the diagnosis of thumb CMC OA.
Methods: In a quasi-experimental clinical trial, thirty-one patients, 87% female (age: 82 ± 9.4 years), with thumb CMC OA, were consecutively assigned to either an experimental treatment that included the ischemic compression of the FDI MTrP or a sham treatment of the FDI MTrP for one session. The main outcome considered in the study was the pressure pain threshold (PPT). Measurements were taken pre- and post-treatment and at a 1-week follow-up period.
Results: The PPT over the right (affected) FDI muscle showed statistically significant differences between groups at 1-week follow up (F = 3.518; p = 0.04) in favor of the experimental group.
Conclusions: The ischemic compression of FDI-MTrPs is an appropriate part of a multimodal treatment to decrease local pain sensitivity in patients with CMC OA.
Keywords: myofascial pain; myofascial trigger point; osteoarthritis; pain management; pressure pain threshold.