This is a SR just out on the journal Clinical Rehabilitation with the above title.
First Published: 28 Sep 2017
“To evaluate the evidence on the effectiveness of myofascial release therapy to relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain and to improve joint mobility, functioning level, and quality of life in pain sufferers.”
“Of 513 identified records, 8 were relevant. Two trials focused on lateral epicondylitis (N = 95), two on fibromyalgia (N = 145), three on low back pain (N = 152), and one on heel pain (N = 65). The risk of bias was considered low in three and high in five trials. The duration of therapy was 30–90 minutes 4 to 24 times during 2–20 weeks. The effect sizes did not reach the minimal clinically important difference for pain and disability in the studies of low back pain or fibromyalgia. In another three studies with the high risk of bias, the level of minimal clinically important difference was reached up to two-month follow-up.”
“Current evidence on myofascial release therapy is not sufficient to warrant this treatment in chronic musculoskeletal pain.”
Perhaps it is not surprising that the SR found such results. We know now that manual therapy in general does not yield great effects especially in the chronic pain population. In fact, no single intervention would produce very convincing effects in such a population. Chronic pain is complex and would require a biopsychosocial approach tailored to each individual in order to be effective.
Please click here for the abstract of the article or the full text article if you have access.