The effectiveness of the Impulse iQ® Adjusting Instrument compared to ischaemic compression in the treatment of upper trapezius myofascial trigger points in participants with non-specific neck pain
Aim: This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of the Impulse iQ® Adjusting Instrument and ischaemic compression on trigger points in pain relief and quality of life in adults presenting with non-specific neck pain. Methodology: This study was a randomised single-blinded clinical trial which consisted of 40 participants residing in the eThekwini municipality, divided into two groups of 20 each. The participants were randomly assigned using concealed allocation to one of two treatment groups of 20 viz. Impulse iQ® Adjusting Instrument (IAI) trigger point therapy group and ischaemic compression (IC) group. Neck pain level was determined using a numerical pain rating scale (NRS). Degree of lateral flexion (LF) was determined by a cervical range of motion (CROM) goniometer. Pain pressure thresholds (PPT) were measured with a pain pressure algometer. The effect of neck pain on participants’ activities of daily living was assessed using the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) Neck Disability Index (NDI). The participants’ overall perception of improvement since the initiation of treatment was assessed using the Patients Global Impression of Change (PGIC). The participants received three treatments over a two and half week period with the fourth consultation being used for the final subjective and objective measurements. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA testing was used to examine the intra-group effect of time and the inter-group effect of treatment on the outcomes of NRS, algometer readings and CROM goniometer measurements. Profile plots were used to assess the direction and trends of the effects. An intra-group analysis revealed that, objectively and subjectively, all groups responded positively to treatment over time, with no significant time-group interaction. It was noted that there was a higher rate of improvement in IAI Group with respect to algometer readings over time; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: This study concluded that neither IAI nor IC is more effective than the other with respect to participants’ pain perception and CROM. However, the IAI was more effective on pain pressure threshold. Based on the results collected from this study, both therapies can used in the treatment protocols of neck pain associated with MFTPs.