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Electrical dry needling versus conventional physiotherapy in the treatment of active and latent myofascial trigger points in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain

Trials. 2022 Mar 28;23(1):238. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06179-y.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain is considered to be one of the main causes of absenteeism from work and primary and specialized consultations. The symptoms of nonspecific chronic low back pain may be accompanied by the activation of myofascial trigger points in the muscles, together with local and/or referred pain. Electrical dry needling is increasingly used in the treatment of lumbar myofascial pain. Conventional physiotherapy, however, is a popular approach to chronic pathologies, and there is evidence of different modalities of physiotherapy being used in the treatment of chronic low back pain. The aim of this study has been to determine the effectiveness of electrical dry needling versus conventional physiotherapy when applied to active and latent myofascial trigger points in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain.

METHODS: This is a controlled, randomized, two-arm, double-blind study. A total of 92 patients with chronic low back pain (time to onset ≥ 3 months, Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire score ≥ 4) will be recruited from the University of Almería. Participants will be divided into two study groups (n = 40) to receive treatment of low back pain with electrical dry needling and conventional physiotherapy (ischaemic compression, analytic stretching and postural education training dossier). A total of 6 sessions will be administered once a week for 6 weeks. Pain intensity, disability, fear of movement, quality of life, quality of sleep, anxiety and depression, pressure pain threshold, abdominal strength and lumbar mobility will be recorded at 6 weeks (post-immediate) and 2 months after the end of treatment.

DISCUSSION: We believe that an approach including electrical dry needling to chronic low back pain dysfunction will be more effective in these patients. The results of this study will inform clinicians on which type of treatment is more beneficial for patients with chronic low back pain.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04804228. Registered on 14 January 2021.

PMID:35346331 | DOI:10.1186/s13063-022-06179-y

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