Dry needling is a modality used to decrease trigger points located in muscles which lead to pain and radiating symptoms. This method uses a needle similar to an acupuncture needle, inserting the needle into an active trigger point to decrease pain and reduce muscle spasm. This study was designed to measure the effectiveness of dry needling on neck pain and cervical range of motion. The study, entitled Short-Term Changes in Neck Pain, Widespread Pressure Pain Sensitivity, and Cervical Range of Motion After the Application of Trigger Point Dry Needling in Patients With Acute Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial, surveyed patients pre and post-dry needling after one session. Surveys were conducted 10 minutes after the session and one week after the treatment. The results showed a greater decrease in pain in the group that received the dry needling than in the group that did not receive treatment. Significant improvement was also noted with cervical range of motion and pressure pain sensitivity.
Short-Term Changes in Neck Pain, Widespread Pressure Pain Sensitivity, and Cervical Range of Motion After the Application of Trigger Point Dry Needling in Patients With Acute Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Mejuto-Vázquez MJ1, Salom-Moreno J, Ortega-Santiago R, Truyols-Domínguez S, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C.
Study Design Randomized clinical trial. Objectives To determine the effects of trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN) on neck pain, widespread pressure pain sensitivity, and cervical range of motion in patients with acute mechanical neck pain and active trigger points (TrPs) in the upper trapezius muscle. Background TrP-DN seems to be effective for decreasing pain in individuals with upper quadrant pain syndromes. Potential effects of TrP-DN for decreasing pain and sensitization in individuals with acute mechanical neck pain are needed. Methods Seventeen patients (53% females) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: single session of TrP-DN or no intervention (waiting list). Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) over the C5-C6 zygapophyseal joint, second metacarpal, and tibialis anterior muscle, neck pain intensity, and cervical spine range of motion data were collected at baseline (pre-treatment) and 10 minutes and 1-week after the intervention by an assessor blinded to the treatment allocation of the patient. Mixed-model ANOVAs were used to examine the effects of treatment on each outcome variable. Results Patients treated with 1 session of TrP-DN experienced greater decreases in neck pain, greater increases in PPT, and higher increases in cervical range of motion than those who did not receive an intervention both 10 minutes and 1-week after the intervention (P<0.01 for all comparisons). Between-groups effect sizes were medium to large immediately after TrP-DN session (standardized mean score differences [SMDs] > 0.56) and large at the 1-week follow-up (SMDs > 1.34).
The results of the current randomized clinical trial suggest that a single session of TrP-DN decreases neck pain intensity and widespread pressure sensitivity, and also increases active cervical range of motion in patients with acute mechanical neck pain. Changes in pain, PPT, and cervical range of motion surpassed their respective minimal detectable change values supporting clinically relevant treatment effects. Level of Evidence Therapy, Level 1b-. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Epub