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Effects of dry needling in lower extremity myofascial trigger points

J Pak Med Assoc. 2021 Nov;71(11):2596-2603. doi: 10.47391/JPMA.01398.


OBJECTIVE: To explore the current evidences on effects of trigger point dry needling as a treatment strategy on pain and range of motion among subjects with lower extremity myofascial trigger areas.

METHODS: The systematic review was conducted at the University Institute of Physical Therapy, Lahore, Pakistan, from February to August 2019, and comprised search of studies on Cochrane Library, PubMed, SPORTDiscus and PEDro databases published in the English language from 2000 to July 2019. The search terms used were ‘Dry needling’, ‘Trigger points’, ‘Myofascial trigger points’, ‘Trigger area’, ‘Acupuncture therapy’, ‘Lower extremity’ and ‘Acupuncture’. Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used to assess the randomised and non-randomised controlled trials. Methodological assessment was performed using Physiotherapy Evidence Database 10-point scale. Data synthesis was performed through vote counting method.

RESULTS: Of the 564 articles initially found, 30(5.3%) were shortlisted for full-text assessment. Of them, 10(33.3%) were selected for final assessment; with 7(70%) scoring high and 3(30%) fair on the PEDro scale. All the 10(100%) studies documented improvement in the pain over time with dry needling strategy. None of the studies targeted any other outcome, like anxiety and sleep disturbances, related with myofascial trigger points.

CONCLUSIONS: On basis of the best evidences available, dry needling seemed to be effective in pain reduction related to lower extremity myofascial trigger points. Evidence also suggested that there was not much positive effect of myofascial trigger point dry needling on depression, anxiety, muscular strength and quality of life.

PMID:34783743 | DOI:10.47391/JPMA.01398


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