Bumpy Patches: Analgesic Effects of Particle Pressure in Sports Injury Treatment

Norio Saito, Gen Kaneko, Kazuyuki Mito
Vol. 10 (2021) p.123-128

Physical analgesia has been used for the treatment of sports injuries. We previously developed a special patch (bumpy patch, BP) that adds pressure to the pain area, demonstrating its analgesic effects in various sports injuries. In this study, we further verified acute and chronic analgesic effects of the BP in 28 subjects (14–44 years of age, 15 males and 13 females) with various pain sites and histories of pain (knee, shoulder, low back, elbow and other joints; 6 months to 3 days). First, the trigger area with muscle induration or tenderness was identified in each subject by palpation, and each subject evaluated the degree of pain using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Then the BPs were applied to completely cover the pain area. The BP treatment was repeated at 2 to 3-day interval until all subjects reported no pain (NRS = 0), and the differences between pre- and post-treatment NRS values were compared for each treatment as the measure of the analgesic effect. Significant analgesic effects were observed in the first and second BP treatments (P = 0.000774 and 0.00149, respectively). The third BP treatment also reduced the pain intensity, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.3734). Some subjects reported mobilization of the pain area after the BP treatment, which was discussed in relation to the potential analgesic mechanism of the BP. These results indicate that the BP has acute and chronic analgesic effects and can be used for the treatment of sports injuries.