Peripheral muscle oxygenation, pain, and disability indices in individuals with and without nonspecific neck pain, before and after myofascial reorganization®: A double-blind randomized controlled trial


To investigate whether myofascial reorganization®in the trapezius muscle (MRT) improves peripheral muscle oxygenation and pain tolerance and decreases neck disability index (NDI) scores in individuals with and without nonspecific neck pain (NP) using a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Seventy-five subjects were equally and randomly assigned to three groups: the intervention groups (experimental [EG] and sham sSG]) and the control group (CG). Several inclusion criteria were applied to the intervention groups: male or female, aged 18–32 years, self-reported NP in the last 3 months without a defined cause; at least “soft” pain in session 1 of the NDI, and at least a score of 1 on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The CG was required to have NDI and VAS scores of 0 at recruitment. Intervention: The EG underwent MRT for 10 min, once a week for 6 weeks. Patients with NP in the SG underwent classical massage for the same duration and frequency. Patients in the CG had no pain and underwent no intervention. Data collection was performed using the NDI Questionnaire, a pressure algometer for pain evaluation, and near-infrared spectroscopy for muscle oxygenation measurements. It was registered as NCT03882515 at The NDI score in both the EG (ptextless0.001) and SG (ptextless0.001) decreased after 6 weeks of intervention compared to the CG. The CG demonstrated a lower basal tissue saturation (TSI) index than the EG (ptextless0.001) and SG (p = 0.02). The EG demonstrated higher oxyhemoglobin values than the SG (ptextless0.001) and CG (p = 0.03). The CG had higher pain tolerance than the EG (p = 0.01) and SG (ptextless0.001) post-intervention. MRT increased trapezius muscle oxygenation after 6 weeks of intervention.