Novel application of dry needling for neuropathic myofascial ankle pain and dysfunction following insidious integumentary infection: A case report.
J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2020 Apr;24(2):138-143
Authors: Mullins JF, Hoch MC, Nitz AJ
BACKGROUND: Dry needling (DN) was effectively applied to a patient whose primary complaint was hyperalgesia and decreased ankle function meeting criteria for neuropathic myofascial pain following an integumentary infection, skin grafting and immobilization.
CASE DESCRIPTION: A 33-year-old male serving on active duty in the United States Air Force was referred to physical therapy for decreased ankle range of motion and pain, eight weeks after an integumentary infection on his ankle. The infection was complicated by tissue loss requiring skin grafting for closure. Two months of traditional rehabilitation was unsuccessful and this patient was referred for DN treatment.
OUTCOMES: Clinically relevant improvements were achieved after one treatment. After 48 hours, the patient’s reported Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) dropped from a baseline 67 to 34 and Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) increased from 44 to 56. Plantarflexion and dorsiflexion improved by 15° and inversion and eversion by five degrees. After one year and 11 DN treatments, function continued to improve as demonstrated by single leg stance time improvement from 4 s to more than 60 seconds, without pain, a final LEFS of 72 and a return to unrestricted full duty.
CONCLUSION: DN is an increasingly utilized treatment option for myofascial pain. This case report represents a unique application of DN to an atypical patient presenting with neuropathic myofascial pain syndrome that demonstrated improvement with DN as the sole intervention. Further research regarding the application of DN as a treatment option for neuropathic myofascial pain syndromes is needed.
PMID: 32507139 [PubMed – in process]