Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrPs) in the triceps surae muscles are very frequent and their presence may be implicated in pain, such as nocturnal night cramps. These points cause important limitations to athletic performance and daily activities. For this reason, treatment of these MTrPs are essential in the clinical field and have been addressed by a large number of therapeutic strategies. Therefore, the aim of this review is to analyze treatments available for the MTrPs in the triceps surae and their effectiveness.
The PubMed and PEDro databases were both used for the study selection process. The terms "Trigger Points AND Gastrocnemius AND Soleus NOT Trapezius" were used and without a time restriction. From the 277 articles screened initially, 12 studies were selected to be included in this review. To assess the quality of the articles, the Jadad Scale and the U.S Preventive Task Force Scale were used.
The studies reviewed included healthy subjects as well as patients with disorders, or pain affecting specifically the foot and the ankle. In these studies, both active and latent trigger-points were found. Of all the variables used, the treatment of the MTrPs allows for an improvement in jump performance, quality of life, insomnia, Range of Motion (ROM) of ankle dorsiflexion, mobility, and reduced pain. However, the MTrP therapy has no effects on depression or anxiety. The principal treatments used were injections, electrostimulation, dry needling, ischemic compression, and Extra-Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT).
MTrPs can be the origin of several alterations. This review shows how the MTrPs treatment can improve those conditions.