Muscle News Daily April 25 2014, 0 Comments

Trigger point acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain

Theres a new interesting study that looked at trigger point acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain. The study compared trigger point acupuncture to a sham treatment. Patients were provided with 5 treatment sessions. Between treatment sessions and 5 weeks after, the trigger point acupuncture group showed significantly improved pain intensity and shoulder function. 

With all the different type of acupuncture treatments being proposed out there, its refreshing to see one that specifically trigger points, since a lot of the trigger points coincide with acupuncture points. 

Which exercise is the best for serratus anterior activation in those with scapular winging?

Heres a really good summary by physiospot on a recent study that looked at finding the best push up exercise for serratus anterior activation. First of all, the study looked at whether there was different muscle activation of the serratus anterior and pec major for those with scapular winging and those without.There was definitely more Pec Major activity for those with scapular winging. 

Next question was whether the standard pushup, the knee push up or the wall push up provided the most optimal ability to get the serratus anterior activation. Out of all three, the standard push up won hands down. It not only maximized serratus anterior activation but minimized pectoralis major activation.

Rotator cuff surgical repair: Are we really seeing some improvements?

With any type of surgery, there is a risk of reinjury. In the case of rotator cuff repair, a new study wanted to see the factors associated with retears. Considering the risk of retears, the findings weren't all the surprising:

  • The weighted mean retear rate was 26.6% at a mean of 23.7 months after surgery.
  • Retears were associated with more fatty infiltration, larger tear size, advanced age, and double-row repairs.
  • Clinical improvement averaged 72% of the maximum possible improvement.
  • This study looked at 2383 articles on rotator cuff repair from 1980 to 2012. The conclusion demonstrates that there is little evidence that the results of rotator cuff repairs are improving. 


If rotator cuff repairs lack evidence of improvement, what are the specific factors predicting rotator cuff repairs?

Staying on the topic of rotator cuff repairs, another study assessed the risk factors. They looked at about 1000 consecutive repairs. Here are their results:

  • The overall retear rate at 6 months after surgery was 17%. (While the previous study found 26.6% at a mean of 23.7 months)
  • Retears occurred in 27% of full-thickness tears and 5% of partial-thickness tears
  • Rotator cuff tear size (tear dimensions, tear size area, and tear thickness) showed stronger associations with retears at 6 months after surgery than did measures of tissue quality and concomitant shoulder injuries.