J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2021 Jul 23. doi: 10.3233/BMR-200322. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in neck muscles seem to be related to the main symptoms of patients with chronic neck pain.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate the effects of dry needling (DN) on pain, disability, kinesiophobia, pain catastrophizing and psychological distress in patients with chronic neck pain.
METHODS: A double blind randomized controlled pilot trial was designed. Twenty-one patients with chronic neck pain were randomly allocated to the DN group (n= 7), Sham-DN group (n= 7) or Control group (n= 7). All groups received a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and Therapeutic Ultrasound (TENS/US) protocol with patient education. The DN and Sham-DN groups received two sessions of DN and sham DN, respectively. The primary outcome was pain intensity. Secondary outcomes were disability, kinesiophobia, pain catastrophizing, psychological distress, self-reported improvement and success of blinding.
RESULTS: The DN group showed a greater decrease in pain intensity, disability and pain catastrophizing compared to the Sham-DN group (p< 0.05) and the Control group (p< 0.05). The DN group showed the highest self-reported improvement.
CONCLUSION: Adding two sessions of DN in active MTrPs in upper trapezius, levator scapulae and sternocleidomastoid muscles to a TENS/US protocol with patient education decreased pain intensity, disability and pain catastrophizing in patients with chronic neck pain.