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Chiropractic Research Review

Pressure Algometry Applied to Pressure Pain Sensitivity

This review of several studies examines the clinical applications of pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) measurement by pressure algometry (PA). A study of 10 patients with failed back surgeries examined 20 different muscles.

Pressure algometry was used to document long-term improvements (150 days) which corresponded to a decrease in pain rating. Treatment consisted of needling and infiltration of the entire trigger point (TrP) extending to taut band.

Findings support the high reliability and validity of PA for quantification of PPS, as well as the specificity and sensitivity of PA in the detection of trigger points. PA can document the decreased PPS after 'preinjection (regional) blocks' administered prior to trigger point injections. The critical pressure for TrP tender spots is a pressure pain threshold lower than 2kg/cm2 relative to a normally sensitive corresponding control point.

Fischer AA. Algometry in the daily practice of pain management. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 1997;8, pp151-63.

Chiropractic Research Review

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