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Dry needling for chronic neck pain

Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability, and around 70% of the world population will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Most cases of acute neck pain can improve without intervention, but up to 50% will continue to suffer pain and disability.

A study looked into the effects of dry needling on myofascial trigger points in the neck, which has been thought to be a key indicator of mechanical neck pain. Myofascial pain, with the prevalence of myofascial trigger points within the upper trapezius muscle is very common. Myofascial trigger points are defined as areas of hypersensitivity in a taut band of muscle, which can also lead to referred pain.

Results from the study showed that deep dry needling of the trapezius muscle, irrespective of position, had a positive effect in improving pain intensity, discomfort and local mechanical hyperalgesia. Further research is always recommended, but this is offers statistical significance in the treatment of chronic neck pain.

Martin-Sacristan. L. et al. (2022). Dry needling in active or latent trigger points in patients with neck pain: a randomised clinical trial. Scientific Reports. 12, 3188.


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