The relative effectiveness of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitative stretching as compared to static stretching in the treatment of active myofascial trigger points
MacDougall, Tarryn Clair
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study is to determine the relative effectiveness of (Contract-Relax- Agonist-Contract) CRAC stretching, a component of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular facilitated (PNF) stretching, as opposed to static stretching in the treatment of active myofascial trigger points of the shoulder girdle and neck muscles. This was a randomised clinical trial consisting of two groups. Group A received static stretching as their treatment protocol and Group B received PNF (CRAC) as their treatment protocol. Each group consisted of fifteen people between the ages of 18 and 55 who were randomly allocated to their respective groups. It is hypothesised that PNF (CRAC) stretching would be relatively more effective than Static stretching in the treatment of active myofascial trigger points of the shoulder girdle and neck muscles. Subjects diagnosed with active myofascial trigger points in the Trapezius, Infraspinatus and Rhomboid muscles were included in the study. The treatment regime consisted of a course of five treatments spread over a period of two weeks and then a one - month follow up consultation. Subjective and objective measurements were taken at the first, fifth and follow up consultations. Subjective data consisted of the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, the CMCC Neck Disability Index and the Numerical Pain Rating Scale -101. The objective data was collected by means of algometer and goniometer measurements. This data was used to perform statistical analysis using the non-parametric Wilcoxin signed-rank test and the Mann Whitney unpaired test to compare intra-group and intergroup data respectively, at a 95% confidence level. This study suggests that both static and PNF (CRAC) stretching are effective in the treatment of active myofascial trigger points. However there is no clinical statistical difference between these two treatments. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to clearly evaluate the use of stretching in the treatment of active myofascial trigger points.