Trigger point dry needling for the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome: current perspectives within a pain neuroscience paradigm.

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Trigger point dry needling for the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome: current perspectives within a pain neuroscience paradigm.

J Pain Res. 2019;12:1899-1911

Authors: Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Nijs J

Abstract
Myofascial pain syndrome is a pain condition characterized by the presence of trigger points. Current evidence, mostly experimental studies, clearly supports a role of trigger points on peripheral and central sensitization since they are able to contribute to sensitization of peripheral nociceptors, spinal dorsal horn neurons, and the brainstem. Several interventions are proposed for treating trigger points, dry needling being one of the most commonly used by clinicians. There is no consensus on the clinical application of trigger point dry needling: some authors propose that local twitch responses should be elicited during the needling intervention to be effective, whereas others do not. The application of trigger point dry needling is able to reduce the excitability of the central nervous system by reducing peripheral nociception associated to the trigger point, by reducing dorsal horn neuron activity, and by modulating pain-related brainstem areas. However, the effects are mainly observed in the short-term, and effect sizes are moderateto small. Therefore, the current review proposes that the application of trigger point dry needling should be integrated into current pain neuroscience paradigm by combining its application with pain neuroscience education, graded exercise and manual therapy. Additionally, patient’s expectations, beliefs, previous experiences and patient-clinician interaction should be considered when integrating trigger point dry needling into a comprehensive treatment approach.

PMID: 31354339 [PubMed]

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