University of Wisconsin–Madison

Characterizing Myofascial Trigger Points Using Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography

This project was led by: Darryl Thelen PhD

This project was funded by: Mechanical Engineering

The term of this project was: April 2013 to April 2014

The number of subjects scanned during this project was: 24

The aim of study is to evaluate the capability of ultrasound shear wave elastography (SWE) to identify and characterize myofascial trigger points in the shoulder and neck muscles. We hypothesize that participants who have been diagnosed with a latent myofascial trigger point will demonstrate a discrete region of increased stiffness within the affected muscle that is visible with ultrasound SWE. Currently, there is no accepted objective measure for identifying trigger points [1], and we believe that SWE has the potential to fill this diagnostic gap, as well as provide additional quantitative information (e.g. tissue stiffness) for characterizing trigger points. Our goal of providing a novel objective method for characterizing trigger points will be accomplished by comparing the regional ultrasound shear wave data collected from patients who have been diagnosed with a latent trigger point to those from healthy adults.