Journal of Modern Rehabilitation 2016. 10(1):43-47.

Comparison of Dry Needling and Physical Therapy in Patients with Trapezius Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Shima Hesari, Behrouz Attarbashi-Moghadam, Azadeh Shadmehr


Introduction: Myofascial  trigger  points  (MTrPs)  are  one  of  the  main  characteristics  of musculoskeletal disorders. The main purpose of this study was to compare the long-term effects of dry needling (DN) and physical therapy modalities (PT) on the MTrPs of upper trapezius muscle.
Material and Methods: A total of 34 subjects with upper trapezius MTrP participated in this study. Subjects were randomly assigned into two groups of DN (N = 17) and PT (N = 17). DN group was treated two sessions per week, and PT group was treated three sessions per week. Pain intensity, pressure pain threshold (PPT), cervical range of motion (CROM), and function of upper limbs were assessed every session.
Results: Significant decrease of pain (P  = 0.002), increase of CROM (P  = 0.002), PPT (P = 0.003), and functional improvement of upper limbs (P = 0.001) after treatment occurred in both groups. DN group revealed more improvement than the PT group (P = 0.001).
Conclusion: Although both of PT and DN are effective treatments for MTrP, the DN seems to be more effective.


Dry needling; Physical therapy; Trigger point; Trapezius muscle

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