Effectiveness of percutaneous microelectrolysis and ultrasound in decreasing pain in myofascial trigger points: evaluation through algometry and visual analogue scale

Hernán Andrés de la Barra Ortiz, Jaime Opazo Cancino, Fernanda Sánchez Peña, Fernanda Soto León, Edward Miño Donoso, Valeria Trecanao Gaete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. Percutaneous electrotherapy is a therapeutic alternative in musculoskeletal conditions. Percutaneous microelectrolysis (MEP) stands out as treatment for tendinopathies and musculoskeletal pain, such as myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), although more studies are needed to support it. The study aimed to investigate MEP effectiveness in reducing pain pressure threshold (PPT) and pain intensity (Pi) in MTrPs. Methods. A randomized controlled clinical trial was performed at Physiotherapy Laboratory of Andrés Bello University and involved 48 volunteers with MTrPs in upper trapezius muscle, randomly assigned to the experimental or control group. Both groups received baseline ultrasound treatment. in the experimental group, MEP intervention was applied with 3 reevaluation sessions (on days 1, 3, and 7). direct current was delivered with an acupuncture needle directly to MTrPs, and PPT and Pi were reevaluated before and after the application. The main outcomes were PPT and Pi differences (PPTdiff and Pidiff) between evaluation sessions. Results. TMEP implied positive changes, increasing PPT (PPTdiff11, p = 0.0000; PPTdiff21, p = 0.0000; PPTdiff31, p = 0.0000) and decreasing Pi (Pidiff11, p = 0.0001; Pidiff21, p = 0.0001; Pidiff31, p = 0.0008) in the experimental group. Significant differences were observed in PPT in the second reevaluation session compared with the control group (PPTdiff21, p = 0.0032). Conclusions. MEP is a good analgesic treatment for MTrPs compared with therapeutic ultrasound, although neither of these therapies seems to be better than the other in a long term. They improve PPT and Pi, so MEP can be considered effective alternative treatment for MTrPs pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiotherapy Quarterly
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Electrolysis
  • Electrotherapy
  • Myofascial pain syndromes
  • Pain threshold
  • Ultrasound
  • Visual analogue scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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