A randomized, single-blinded (the outcome assessor was unaware of participants’ allocation group) controlled clinical trial.
To investigate the effects of myofascial release therapy (MRT) over the suboccipital muscles, compared with self-MRT using a novel device, the INYBI tool, on pain-related outcomes, active cervical mobility, and vertical mouth opening, in adults with chronic non-specific neck pain (NSNP).
Summary of Background Data.
MRT is used to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions, with purported positive effects. The efficacy of self-MRT, compared with MRT, has been scarcely evaluated.
Fifty-eight participants (mean age of 34.6 ± 4.7 yrs; range 21–40 yrs; 77.6% females, 22.4% males) with persistent NSNP agreed to participate, and were equally distributed into an INYBI (n = 29) or a control group (n = 29). Both groups underwent a single 5-minutes intervention session. For participants in the control group, MRT of the suboccipital muscles was performed using the suboccipital muscle inhibition technique, while those in the INYBI group underwent a self-MRT intervention using the INYBI device. Primary measurements were taken of pain intensity (visual analogue scale), local pressure pain sensitivity, as assessed with an algometer, and active cervical range-of-movement. Secondary outcomes included pain-free vertical mouth opening. Outcomes were collected at baseline, immediately after intervention and 45 minutes later.
The analysis of variance (ANOVAs) demonstrated no significant between-groups effect for any variable (all, P > 0.05). In the within-groups comparison, all participants significantly improved pain-related outcomes, and showed similar positive changes for mouth opening. Cervical range-of-movement- mainly increased after intervention for participants in the control group.
Both, MRT and self-MRT using the INYBI, are equally effective to enhance self-reported pain intensity, and local pressure pain sensitivity in chronic NSNP patients. For cervical mobility, MRT appears to be slighlty superior, compared with the INYBI, to achieve improvements in this population.
Level of Evidence: 2