Dry Needling Adds No Benefit in the Treatment of Neck Pain
In a recent article published in The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, researchers looked at the comparison of trigger point dry needling to sham dry needling (no puncturing of the skin) when treating neck pain.
Seventy-seven adults received 7 sessions of physical therapy over a 4-week period of time.
One group received trigger point dry needling, exercise, and manual therapy and the other group received sham dry needling, exercise, and manual therapy.
Outcomes for pain and disability were assessed at baseline and 4-week, 6 month, and 1 year follow ups. There were no differences in outcomes between the two groups. The researchers recommended that dry needling not be part of a first-line approach to managing neck pain.
Our interpretation of this study is that trigger point dry needling does not need to be used as a treatment for neck pain. It is not supported by quality research and could create patient dependence on a treatment that is NOT shown to be as effective as less invasive interventions.
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