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Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is the most common muscular pain syndrome. Although chili balm has been used as an alternative treatment of MPS for a long period of time, there is not enough evidence to support the effects of chili balm on these patients. This study aimed to determine the effects of the chili balm on pain intensity, pressure pain threshold and cervical range of motion in patients with upper back pain associated with MPS. Fifty patients were randomly allocated to receive a 30-minute session of either chili balm (with rest on the bed) or sham chili balm (with rest on the bed) for 9 sessions over a period of 3 weeks. Pain intensity, pressure pain threshold and cervical flexion were measured before and after the treatment period. Results indicated that participants in both groups showed significant decrease in pain intensity, increase in pressure pain threshold, and increase cervical flexion (p < 0.05). However, the chili balm group demonstrated more improvement than the sham chili balm group in pain intensity at the end of the treatments (p < 0.05). In conclusion, chili balm could be one of alternative treatments for this patient population.
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