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Dry Needling Alone or in Combination with Exercise Therapy versus Other Interventions for Reducing Pain and Disability in Subacromial Pain Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 2;19(17):10961. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710961.


This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effects of dry needling alone or in combination with exercise therapy for reducing pain and disability in people with subacromial pain syndrome. Systematic searches of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were performed in five different databases. A meta-analysis was carried out with the data obtained, and the risk of bias and quality of the studies was assessed using the Cochrane ROB 2.0 and GRADE tools. Finally, five RCTs (n = 315) were included in the meta-analysis and qualitative analysis. Our results determine that dry needling alone or combined with exercise therapy showed improvements in pain in the short-term (5RCTs: SMD: -0.27; [-0.49, -0.05]; low-quality) and mid-term (4RCTs: SMD: -0.27; [-0.51, -0.04]; low-quality) compared to a range of interventions. However, no differences were shown for disability at short-term (3 RCTs: SMD: -0.97; [-2.04, 0.11]; very-low quality) and mid-term (3 RCTs: SMD: -0.85; [-1.74, 0.04]; very-low quality). Dry needling alone or in combination with exercise therapy may result in a slight reduction in pain in the short-term and mid-term. However, the evidence about the effect of this therapy on disability in the short- or mid-term is very uncertain compared to the range of interventions analyzed in this systematic review (Registration: INPLASY202260112).

PMID:36078676 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph191710961


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