Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Eur J Pain. 2009 Jan;13(1):3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2008.02.006. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Acupuncture and dry needling in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Author information

  • 1Primary Care, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, ITTC Building, Tamar Science Park, Plymouth PL6 8BX, UK. Elizabeth.tough@pms.ac.uk

Abstract

Pain from myofascial trigger points is often treated by needling, with or without injection, although evidence is inconclusive on whether this is effective. We aimed to review the current evidence on needling without injection, by conducting a systematic literature review. We searched electronic databases to identify relevant randomised controlled trials, and included studies where at least one group were treated by needling directly into the myofascial trigger points, and where the control was either no treatment, or usual care; indirect local dry needling or some form of placebo intervention. We extracted data on pain, using VAS scores as the standard. Seven studies were included. One study concluded that direct dry needling was superior to no intervention. Two studies, comparing direct dry needling to needling elsewhere in the muscle, produced contradictory results. Four studies used a placebo control and were included in a meta-analysis. Combining these studies (n=134), needling was not found to be significantly superior to placebo (standardised mean difference, 14.9 [95%CI, -5.81 to 33.99]), however marked statistical heterogeneity was present (I(2)=88%). In conclusion, there is limited evidence deriving from one study that deep needling directly into myofascial trigger points has an overall treatment effect when compared with standardised care. Whilst the result of the meta-analysis of needling compared with placebo controls does not attain statistically significant, the overall direction could be compatible with a treatment effect of dry needling on myofascial trigger point pain. However, the limited sample size and poor quality of these studies highlights and supports the need for large scale, good quality placebo controlled trials in this area.

PMID:
18395479
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk