Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Clinical or randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that evaluated a form of manual therapy treatment were eligible for inclusion. The included studies evaluated spray and stretch technique, soft tissue massage, ischaemic compression, occipital release, active head retraction plus retraction/extension exercises, strain and counterstrain, and myofascial release. The number of treatment sessions ranged from 1 to 10. The comparators were placebo and other active treatments.
Participants included in the review
Studies of participants undergoing treatment for myofascial trigger points were eligible for inclusion. Many parts of the body were examined in the included studies, although in all studies neck and shoulder pain were involved. Studies of those with musculoskeletal dysfunction were excluded.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Explicit inclusion criteria for the outcomes were not reported. The outcome measures evaluated in the included studies were pressure pain threshold, pressure pain tolerance and a visual analogue scale to measure unspecified outcomes.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.