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Dry needling in the management of chronic tension-type headache associated with levator scapulae syndrome: A case report

Clin Case Rep. 2024 Apr 30;12(5):e8858. doi: 10.1002/ccr3.8858. eCollection 2024 May.


KEY CLINICAL MESSAGE: The use of DN to the muscular trigger points and distal periosteal enthesis of the levator scapulae may be a useful adjunct intervention within a multi-modal plan of care for the management of work-related chronic tension-type headaches associated with LSS.

ABSTRACT: Chronic tension-type headaches (CTTH) have a lifetime prevalence of 42% and account for more lost workdays than migraine headaches. Dry needling (DN) is being increasingly used by physical therapists in the management of CTTH; however, to date, the supporting evidence is limited. The purpose of this case report was to describe how three sessions of DN targeting myofascial trigger points in the levator scapulae (LS) muscle and its distal enthesis was used to treat a 63-year-old male patient who presented with work-related CTTH associated with levator scapulae syndrome (LSS). The patient was treated for five visits over the course of 2 months. At discharge and 6-month follow-up, the patient reported full resolution of symptoms. Self-report outcomes included the numeric pain rating scale and the Neck Disability Index. The use of DN to the LS muscle and its distal enthesis may be a valuable addition to a multi-modal plan of care in the treatment of work-related CTTH associated with LSS.

PMID:38689684 | PMC:PMC11060885 | DOI:10.1002/ccr3.8858


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