The Effectiveness of Portable Audio Biofeedback Device in Myofascial Pain Syndrome in Neck and Upper Trapezius Muscles
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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a portable audio biofeedback device in the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome [MPS]. Methods: Patients referred to the clinic with MPS involving the upper neck and trapezius who were were randomly assigned into two groups. Group 1 was to use a portable audio biofeedback device for 30 min twice a day in addition to completing a home based exercise program. Group 2 received only the home-based exercise program. The home-based exercise program was comprised of neck isometric-isotonic, back extensor stretching and posture exercises five times a week, performing each exercise once a day with 15 repetitions for 4 weeks. Measurements were taken before and after the treatment. The severity of the pain was measured by visual analog scale. The number of trigger points, pressure pain threshold, cervical joint range of motion and head-shoulder angles were also recorded. Disability was assessed by the Neck Pain Disability Scale. Results: About 90 patients with MPS were recruited and 60 patients [45 females, 15 males, 30 patients per treatment group] completed the study. All parameters were improved in both groups [p<0.05] except cervical range of motion values [p>0.05] after the treatment. In Group 1, more improvements were detected in head angles compared to Group 2 and the differences were statistically significant [p = 0.017]. There were statistically significant differences between the groups in head angles, while no significant differences were detected in the visual analog scale, number of trigger points, pressure pain threshold, cervical range of motion, shoulder angle or Neck Pain Disability Scale scores [p>0.05] after the treatment. Conclusion: Exercise therapy seems to be effective in the treatment of MPS; however, portable audio biofeedback treatment does not provide any additive effect except correcting head angle in the treatment of MPS.