Immediate effects of self-myofascial release on latent trigger point sensitivity : a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

  • Latent myofascial trigger points (MTrP) have been linked to several impairments of muscle function. The present study was conducted in order to examine whether a single bout of self-myofascial release using a foam roller is effective in reducing MTrP sensitivity. Fifty healthy, pain-free subjects (26.8±6 years, 21 men) with latent MTrP in the lateral gastrocnemius muscle were included in the randomized, controlled trial. One week after a familiarization session, they were randomly allocated to three groups: (1) static compression of the most sensitive MTrP using a foam roll, (2) slow dynamic foam rolling of the lateral calf and (3) placebo laser acupuncture of the most sensitive MTrP. Treatment duration in each group was 90 seconds. The pressure pain threshold (PPT) of the most sensitive MTrP was assessed using a handheld algometer prior to and after the intervention. A repeated measures analysis of variance (3x2) did not reveal significant between‑group interactions (p>.05) but showed a significant time effect (F=7.715, p<.05). While placebo and dynamic selfmyofascial release did not change MTrP sensitivity (p>.05), static compression of MTrP increased the PPT (2.6±0.8 to 3.0±1.1, d=.35; p<.05). Static self-myofascial release using a foam roller might represent an alternative to reduce pressure pain of latent MTrP. Additional research should aim to extend these findings to patients and athletes with myofascial pain syndromes.

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Author:Jan WilkeORCiDGND, Lutz VogtGND, Winfried BanzerGND
Parent Title (English):Biology of sport
Publisher:Institute of Sport
Place of publication:Warszawa
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/08/31
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/11/01
Tag:Fascia; Foam rolling; Myofascial pain; Self-massage
Page Number:6
First Page:349
Last Page:354
Copyright: Institute of Sport. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 790 Freizeitgestaltung, darstellende Künste, Sport
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen