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Shock waves as treatment of mouse myofascial trigger points

Pain Pract. 2023 Apr 26. doi: 10.1111/papr.13237. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: An abnormal increase in spontaneous neurotransmission can induce subsynaptic knots in the myocyte called myofascial trigger points. The treatment of choice is to destroy these trigger points by inserting needles. However, 10% of the population has a phobia of needles, blood, or injuries. Therefore, the objective of this study is to verify the usefulness of shock waves in the treatment of myofascial trigger points.

METHODS: Two groups of mice have been developed for this: healthy muscles treated with shock waves; trigger points affected muscles artificially generated with neostigmine and subsequently treated with shock waves. Muscles were stained with methylene blue, PAS-Alcian Blue, and labeling the axons with fluorescein and the acetylcholine receptors with rhodamine. Using intracellular recording the frequency of miniature endplate potentials (mEPPs) was recorded and endplate noise was recorded with electromyography.

RESULTS: No healthy muscles treated with shock waves showed injury. Twitch knots in mice previously treated with neostigmine disappeared after shock wave treatment. Several motor axonal branches were retracted. On the other hand, shock wave treatment reduces the frequency of mEPPs and the number of areas with endplate noise.

DISCUSSION: Shock waves seem to be a suitable treatment for myofascial trigger points. In the present study, with a single session of shock waves, very relevant results have been obtained, both functional (normalization of spontaneous neurotransmission) and morphological (disappearance of myofascial trigger points). Patients with a phobia of needles, blood, or injuries who cannot benefit from dry needling may turn to noninvasive radial shock wave treatment.

PMID:37102243 | DOI:10.1111/papr.13237


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