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Treadmill exercise post dry needling improves heel rise in patients recovering from surgical ankle fracture: A randomised controlled trial

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2023 Apr;34:60-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.04.053. Epub 2023 Apr 13.


INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the effectiveness of the dry needling technique (DNT) plus exercise on motor function in musculoskeletal diseases.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of treadmill exercise immediately after DNT on pain, range of motion (ROM) and bilateral heel rise test in patients recovering from surgical ankle fracture.

METHOD: A randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial was conducted on patients recovering from surgical ankle fracture. Patients received the DNT intervention for the triceps surae muscle. Then, participants were randomly assigned to the experimental (DNT plus incline treadmill for 20 min) or control group (DNT plus rest for 20 min). Baseline and immediate post-intervention assessments included: visual analogue scale (VAS), maximal ankle dorsiflexion ROM and bilateral heel rise test.

RESULTS: A total of 20 patients recovering from surgical ankle fracture were included. Eleven patients were assigned to the experimental group (mean age 46 ± 12.6 years, 2/9 men/women) and nine to the control group (mean age 52 ± 13.4 years, 2/7 men/women). Two-way ANOVA showed a significant time × group interaction for bilateral heel rise test (F = 5.514, p = 0.030, ηp2 = 0.235). Both groups increased the number of repetitions (p < 0.001), however, the experimental group showed a significant difference compared to control group (mean difference: 2.73 repetitions; p = 0.030). There was no time × group interaction in VAS and ROM (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that treadmill exercise after dry needling improves plantar flexors motor function more than rest after dry needling in patients with surgical ankle fracture.

PMID:37301559 | DOI:10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.04.053


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