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The efficacy of intramuscular electrical stimulation in the management of patients with myofascial pain syndrome: a systematic review

Chiropr Man Therap. 2021 Sep 27;29(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s12998-021-00396-z.


INTRODUCTION: Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is one of the most common disorders causing chronic muscle pain. Almost one-third of patients with musculoskeletal complaints meet the MPS criteria. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of intramuscular electrical stimulation (IMES) in patients with MPS through a systematic review method.

METHODS: PubMed, Scopus, Embase, ProQuest, PEDro, Web of Science, and CINAHL were systematically searched to find out the eligible articles without language limitations from 1990 to December 30, 2020. All relevant randomized controlled trials that compared the effectiveness of IMES with sham-IMES, dry needling, or exercise therapy in patients with MPS were included. Full texts of the selected studies were critically appraised using Revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials (RoB2).

RESULTS: Six studies (out of 397) had met our inclusion criteria (involving 158 patients) and were entered to the systematic review. Outcome measures examined in these studies included pain, range of motion, pressure pain threshold, biochemical factors, disability, and amount of analgesic use. In the most studies, it has been shown that IMES is more effective than the control group in improving some outcome measurements such as pain.

CONCLUSION: There is preliminary evidence from a few small trials suggesting the efficacy of IMES for the care of myofascial pain syndrome. The data support the conduct of larger trials investigating the efficacy of IMES.

PMID:34579747 | DOI:10.1186/s12998-021-00396-z


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