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Table 3 Characteristics of included studies

From: The prevalence of myofascial trigger points in neck and shoulder-related disorders: a systematic review of the literature

Study Study design Disorder(s) Healthy Controls Group Diagnostic Criteria
Active MTrPs
Diagnostic Criteria Latent MTrPs Assessed Muscles Country, Setting
Alonso-Blanco et al., 2011 Cross-sectional CTTH No 1) Presence of a palpable taut band in a skeletal muscle.
2) Presence of a hyperirritable sensitive spot within the taut band.
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band.
4) Presence of referred pain in response to MTrP compression.
Not assessed Upper Trapezius
Sternocleidomastoid
Temporalis
Suboccipital
Spain, hospital
Bron et al., 2011 Cross-sectional SP No 1) A nodule in a taut band of skeletal muscle.
2) Painful on compression
3) May produce referred pain or sensations
4) Pain recognised by patient as “familiar”
1) A nodule in a taut band of skeletal muscle.
2) Painful on compression
3) May produce referred pain or sensations
4) Pain not recognizable to patient
Upper/middle/lower trapezius
Infraspinatus
Supraspinatus
Subscapularis
Teres minor and major
Anterior/middle/posterior deltoids
Pectoralis major and minor
Biceps brachii
Triceps brachii
Scalene
Subclavius
Spain, primary care practice.
Fernandez-Perez et al., 2012 Cross-sectional cohort Acute WAD Yes 1) Palpable taut band within a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hypersensitive spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch re-sponse elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Production of referred pain in response to MTrP manual compression.
5) If referred pain of symptoms reported by the patient is recognized as familiar
1) Palpable taut band within a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hypersensitive spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch re-sponse elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Production of referred pain in response to MTrP manual compression.
5) Symptoms produced are not familiar to the patient
Temporalis
Masseter
Upper trapezius
Levator scapulae
Sternocleidomastoid
Scalene
Spain, primary care
Fernández-De-Las-Peñas, 2012 Cross-sectional Non-specific pain No 1) Presence of a palpable taut band within a skeletal muscle.
2) Presence of a hyperirritable spot in the taut band.
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band (when possible).
4) Presence of referred pain in response to compression.
MTrPs were considered active when the local and referred pains evoked by compression reproduced clinical pain symptoms and also the participant recognized the pain as familiar.
MTrPs were considered latent when the local and the referred pain elicited by digital compression did not reproduce symptoms familiar to the participant. Temporalis
Masseter
Upper trapezius
Sternocleidomastoid
Splenius capitis
Oblique capitis inferior
Levator scapulae
Scalene
Pectoralis major
Deltoid
Infraspinatus
Extensor carpi radialis brevis
Extensor carpi radialis longus
Eetensor digitorum communis
Supinator
Spain, Department of PT, OT, rehab and physical medicine.
Hidalgo-Lozano et al., 2010 Case-control Unilateral shoulder impingement Yes 1) Presence of a palpable taut band in a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hyperirritable tender spot within the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Presence of referred pain in response to MTrP compression.
5) Local and the referred pain evoked by digital compression reproduced the pain symptoms (both in location and pain sensation) and the subject recognized the pain as familiar pain
1) Presence of a palpable taut band in a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hyperirritable tender spot within the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Presence of referred pain in response to MTrP compression.
5) Local and referred pain elicited by digital compression did not reproduce symptoms familiar to the subjects
Levator scapulae
Supraspinatus
Infraspinatus
Subscapularis
Pectoralis major
Biceps brachii
Spain, setting unclear
Sari et al., 2012 Case-control Cervical Radiculopathy Yes 1) Presence of a palpable taut band in a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of hypersensible tender spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Reproduction of the typical referred pain pattern of the MTrP in response to compression; and
5) Spontaneous presence of the typical referred pain pattern and/or patient recognition of the referred pain as familiar. If all of the aforementioned criteria were present the MTrP was considered active
1) Presence of a palpable taut band in a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of hypersensible tender spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Reproduction of the typical referred pain pattern of the MTrP in response to compression
Trapezius, multifidus, splenius capitis, levator scapulae, rhomboid major, and rhomboid minor Turkey, Outpatient clinic
Tali et al., 2014 Case-control Episodic migraines Yes 1) Palpable taut band within a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hypersensitive spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Production of referred pain in response to MTrP manual compression.
5) If the MTrP were palpated and produced a headache, familiar or not, it was referred to as an “active MTrP”.
1) Palpable taut band within a skeletal muscle
2) Presence of a hypersensitive spot in the taut band
3) Local twitch response elicited by the snapping palpation of the taut band
4) Production of referred pain in response to MTrP manual compression.
5) If the MTrP were palpated and produced local or radiated pain it was referred to as a “latent MTrP”.
Sternocleidomastoid
Upper trapezius
Israel, Physiotherapy Department
  1. Abbreviations: CTTH Chronic tension type headache, SP Shoulder pain, WAD Whiplash associated disorder, MTrP Myofascial trigger point