Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Sep 24;10(10):1862. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10101862.
This study aims to analyze the effects of Dry Needling (DN) for the release of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the triceps surae muscles (TSM). A systematic review was performed up to February 2022 in PubMed, PEDro, Scopus, CENTRAL, and Web of Science. Selection criteria were studies involving subjects older than 18 years presenting MTrPs in the TSM, without any concomitant acute or chronic musculoskeletal conditions; DN interventions applied to the MTrPs of the TSM; and results on pain, range of motion (ROM), muscle strength, muscle stiffness, and functional outcomes. The PEDro scale was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies, and the Risk of Bias Tool 2.0 to assess risk of bias. A total of 12 studies were included in the systematic review, involving 426 participants. These results suggest that DN of MTrPs in TSM could have a positive impact on muscle stiffness and functional outcomes. There are inconclusive findings on musculoskeletal pain, ROM, and muscle strength. Significant results were obtained in favor of the control groups on pressure pain thresholds. Despite the benefits obtained on muscle stiffness and functional performance, the evidence for the use of DN of MTrPs in the TSM remains inconclusive.