Acupunct Med. 2021 Sep 23:9645284211039523. doi: 10.1177/09645284211039523. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the changes in pain pressure threshold (PPT) and active cervical range of motion (ACROM) after the application of superficial dry needling (DN) or deep DN in myofascial trigger point (MTrP) 1 of the upper trapezius versus a simulated DN technique in the gastrocnemius muscle (control group).
DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized controlled trial with 7-day follow-up.
PARTICIPANTS: Asymptomatic volunteers (n = 180; 76 men, 104 women) with a latent MTrP 1 in the upper trapezius were randomly divided into three groups: G1, receiving superficial DN in the upper trapezius; G2, receiving deep DN in the upper trapezius; and G3, control group, receiving simulated DN technique in the gastrocnemius muscle.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: While sitting in a chair, each subject underwent measurements of PPT and ACROM (ipsilateral and contralateral side flexion and rotation, flexion and extension) preintervention, (immediately) postintervention, and at 24 h, 72 h and 7 days.
RESULTS: Superficial and deep DN produced an increase in PPT at 7 days with respect to preintervention levels. Furthermore, superficial and deep DN produced a decrease in cervical flexion at 24 h and an increase in ipsilateral rotation until 72 h, increasing to 7 days in the case of deep DN. On the contrary, superficial DN produced an increase in ipsilateral and contralateral side flexion after intervention, unlike deep DN that produced a decrease at 24 h. Furthermore, superficial DN produced an increase in contralateral rotation at 24 h and deep DN decreased extension at 72 h.
CONCLUSION: A single intervention of superficial or deep DN did not produce statistically significant changes in PPT or goniometry measurements.Trial registration number: NCT03719352 (ClinicalTrials.gov).