J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2021 Apr;26:158-166. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2020.12.021. Epub 2021 Feb 6.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of spinal and peripheral dry needling with peripheral dry needling alone, in addition to a strength and proprioception home exercise program, on pain, balance, strength, proprioception, and functional limitations among individuals with a history of a lateral ankle sprain.
METHODS: The study design is a single-blinded, repeated measures randomized clinical trial. Thirty-four participants, aged 18-50, with a history of a lateral ankle sprain within the last twelve months were randomly assigned into a peripheral dry needling (PDN) group or a spinal and peripheral dry needling (SPDN) group. Outcome measures included a pain assessment, strength testing, Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Balance, physical performance on hop tests, Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool and the Foot and Ankle Disability Index assessed at baseline, one week, and at four to six weeks.
RESULTS: The mixed model ANOVAs showed significant side by time interaction (p < 0.05) for inverter/dorsiflexion strength and significant improvements in side, time, and side by time (p < 0.05) for the CAIT.
CONCLUSION: Trigger point dry needling demonstrated short-term improvements in strength of the inverters/dorsiflexors and the CAIT scores on the involved side at one week and at four to six weeks irrespective of a PDN or SPDN approach.
DISCUSSION: These results suggest that improvements in strength and function can be achieved with PDN without additional needling at the corresponding spinal level.