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Effectiveness of Dry Needling and Ischaemic Trigger Point Compression of the Levator Scapulae in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Short-Term Randomized Clinical Trial

J Clin Med. 2023 Sep 22;12(19):6136. doi: 10.3390/jcm12196136.


BACKGROUND: Chronic neck pain (CNP) may be associated with latent myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the levator scapulae (LS), which can be treated with ischemic compression (IC) and dry needling (DN). Variables and elastography changes are evaluated to compare the short-term efficacy of two treatments with DN.

METHODS: A randomized clinical trial is conducted with 80 participants in two groups: the DN group (n = 40) and IC group (n = 40). The duration is 12 weeks, and mechanical heterogeneity index, pressure pain threshold (PPT), and pain intensity are measured at baseline, immediately after, 48 h after, and one week after treatment.

RESULTS: Statistically significant changes were immediately observed between the two groups: PPT decreased in the DN group (p = 0.05), while it increased in the IC group. At 48 h and one week after treatment, these values increased in the DN group and remained higher than in the IC group. The heterogeneity index improved in both groups but more significantly in the DN group than in the IC group.

CONCLUSIONS: In subjects with CNP who had latent plus hyperalgesic MTrPs in the LS muscle, DN outperformed IC in PPT, pain intensity, and mechanical heterogeneity index at 48 h and one week after initiating therapy.

PMID:37834780 | DOI:10.3390/jcm12196136


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