J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2022 Apr;30:23-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.02.005. Epub 2022 Feb 9.
BACKGROUND: One of the most common knee problems is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). It is of great importance to pay attention to the muscles of the hip area in people with PFPS, especially to the presence of trigger points within the gluteus medius (GM). Accordingly, using therapeutic interventions to eliminate trigger points is required. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of GM active trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN) on pain and physical function of non-athlete women with unilateral PFPS.
METHODS: 29 young non-athlete women aged between 17 and 40 years old with unilateral PFPS were randomly divided into two groups of experimental (n = 15) and control (n = 14) through the simple and convenience sampling method. Both groups received conventional physiotherapy twice a week up to 6 sessions. The experimental group also received GM active TrP-DN once a week for 3 sessions in addition to the conventional physiotherapy. Pain intensity and physical function of women with PFPS were measured in both groups in three stages of before, immediately after and one week after performing the treatment sessions.
FINDINGS: The six-session physiotherapy treatment led to a significant reduction in pain intensity as well as an improvement in physical function in both groups (p < 0.001). In addition, the intergroup comparison showed a significant improvement in physical function of the experimental group after one week from the GM active TrP-DN, compared to the control group (p = 0.048).
CONCLUSION: The present study indicated that conventional physiotherapy with or without GM active TrP-DN can reduce pain and improve physical function in non-athlete women with unilateral PFPS. This study also revealed that conventional physiotherapy combined with dry needling can lead to further reduction in pain and a greater improvement in physical function of this group of patients.