Reliability of Physical Examination for Diagnosis of Myofascial Trigger Points: A Systematic Review of the Literature

@article{Lucas2009ReliabilityOP,
  title={Reliability of Physical Examination for Diagnosis of Myofascial Trigger Points: A Systematic Review of the Literature},
  author={Nicholas Lucas and Petra Macaskill and Les M. Irwig and Robert W Moran and Nikolai Bogduk},
  journal={The Clinical Journal of Pain},
  year={2009},
  volume={25},
  pages={80-89}
}
Background Trigger points are promoted as an important cause of musculoskeletal pain. There is no accepted reference standard for the diagnosis of trigger points, and data on the reliability of physical examination for trigger points are conflicting. Objectives To systematically review the literature on the reliability of physical examination for the diagnosis of trigger points. Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE, and other sources were searched for articles reporting the reliability of physical… 
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TLDR
Until reliable diagnostic criteria have been established, there is a need for greater transparency in research papers on how a case of MTrP pain syndrome is defined, and claims for effective interventions in treating the condition should be viewed with caution.
Interrater Reliability of Palpation of Myofascial Trigger Points in Three Shoulder Muscles
TLDR
Preliminary evidence that MTrP palpation is a reliable and, therefore, potentially useful diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of myofascial pain in patients with non-traumatic shoulder pain is provided.
Test-retest reliability of myofascial trigger point detection in patients with rotator cuff tendonitis
TLDR
The presence or absence of the taut band, spot tenderness, jump sign and pain recognition was highly reliable between sessions and Referred pain and local twitch response reliability varied depending on the muscle being studied.
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Direct needling of myofascial trigger points appears to be an effective treatment, but the hypothesis that needling therapies have efficacy beyond placebo is neither supported nor refuted by the evidence from clinical trials.
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TLDR
Current scientific evidence strongly supports that awareness and working knowledge of muscle dysfunction and in particular myofascial trigger points should be incorporated into manual physical therapy practice consistent with the guidelines for clinical practice developed by the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists.
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