Trigger-Point Manual Therapy (TPMT) for Non-cancer Pain

This article is a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of using TPMT for non-cancer pain. Search consisted of patients older than 18 years with pain of three (3) months duration or more (chronic pain definition parameters). Pain, function, and patient-reported improvements were assessed as outcome measures. Databases were searched from inception up to May 2017. There were a total of 19 trials with 1,047 participants.

Conclusions found no short term pain relief effect with a 95% confidence interval. One small study showed longer-term benefit for pain difference and significant gains emerged for function but not for health-related quality of life improvements.

Evidence for TPMT for chronic non-cancer pain is weak and it cannot currently be recommended as a sole care plan. Providers are encouraged to combine care plans and chart using outcome measures that quantify improvement. If no meaningful improvement is reported or sustained, recommendations are to change treatment plan. Further research is being performed on TPMT that may validate it for some conditions.