Myofascial trigger point therapy for triceps surae dysfunction: a case series

Robert Grieve, Sue Barnett, Nikki Coghill, Fiona Cramp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)



The main aim of the case series was to inform further experimental research to determine the effectiveness of myofascial trigger point (MTrP) therapy for the treatment of triceps surae dysfunction.

Ten participants with triceps surae dysfunction were recruited (4 females and 6 males); mean age ± standard deviation = 43 ± 7.1 years.

Participants were screened for inclusion/exclusion criteria and the following outcomes measures were assessed at baseline and discharge; lower extremity functional scale (LEFS), verbal numerical rating scale (NRS), MTrP prevalence, ankle dorsiflexion range of movement (ROM) and pressure pain threshold (PPT). Intervention involved trigger point (TrP) pressure release, self MTrP release and a home stretching programme.

There was a high prevalence of active/latent MTrPs and possible myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) for all 10 participants at baseline. Active MTrP prevalence decreased to 0%, while latent MTrPs were still present at discharge. There were positive changes in most outcome measures (LEFS, NRS, ROM and PPT) for all 10 participants. Short term to medium term treatment outcomes (6 week post discharge) showed an overall mean LEFS increase of 11 points from 61/80 at baseline to 72/80 at discharge.

This case series suggests that a brief course of multimodal MTrP therapy would be helpful for some patients with sub-acute or chronic calf pain. Important preliminary data was gathered, that will inform more rigorous research in this under investigated area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


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