Referred pain elicited by palpation and by needling of myofascial trigger points: A comparison

Chang Zern Hong, Ta Shen Kuan, Jo Tong Chen, Shu Min Chen

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Objective: To investigate the occurrence of referred pain (ReP) elicited by palpation (Pal-ReP) or by needle injection (Inj-ReP) of myofascial trigger point (MTrP), and to assess the correlated factors, including the pain intensity of an active MTrP and the occurrence of local twitch response (LTR). Design: Correlational study. Patients: Ninety-five patients who were treated with MTrP injections. Intervention: MTrP injections. Main Outcome Measure: Pain intensity of MTrP and occurrence of Pal-ReP, Inj-ReP, and LTR. Results: Both Pal-ReP and Inj-ReP were elicited in 53.9% of MTrPs. Inj-ReP, but not Pal-ReP, was elicited in 33.7% of MTrPs. Both Pal-ReP and Inj-ReP were unobtainable in 12.3% of MTrPs. The occurrence of ReP was significantly correlated to the pain intensity of active MTrP and the occurrence of LTR. Conclusion: ReP could be elicited more frequently by needling than by palpation. The frequency of occurrence in ReP mainly depends on pain intensity of an active MTrP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-960
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Sep


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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