Reliability of TrP in Fibromyalgia

Reference:Wolfe F, et al. The fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndromes: a preliminary study of tender points and trigger points in persons with fibroniyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome and no disease. J Rheumatol 1992; 19:944-51.

This study involved a group of MDs with “expertise” in myofascial pain syndrome (MFP) and fibromyalgia who performed trigger point (TrP) examinations on 3 groups of subjects (fibromyalgia, MFP, and healthy persons) while blinded to their diagnosis.

Taut muscle bands were noted in 50% of the subjects and muscle twitches were noted in 30% of the subjects …but equally in all 3 groups (including the asymptomatic group!).

The study basically showed poor reliability in identifying taut bands, muscle twitch, and active TrP in patients with fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome.

I find it amazing that “experts” in the field of myofascial pain were unable to detect active TrPs …likely because they were blinded and therefore unbiased to the patients’ diagnosis!

Posted on: April 09, 2012

Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

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