A Comparison of the Effects of Dry Needling and Postural Correction Education on Pain, Pain Threshold, and Functional Disability on the Active Upper Trapezius's Trigger Points: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Pilot Study)

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MSc Student, Student Research Committee (Treata), Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Instructor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran



Introduction: Myofascial trigger points in upper trapezius have been reported as a common symptom of patients with neck pain. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of dry needling and postural correction reeducation on pain, pain threshold, and functional disability in patient with upper trapezius trigger points.Materials and Methods: This pilot study was a single-blind, randomized clinical trial. The 15 participants were randomly assigned to 3 groups; the first group received dry needling and conventional physiotherapy, the second group received postural correction (PC) and conventional physiotherapy, and the third group (control) received only conventional physiotherapy. Interventional effects were examined in three aspects including pain pressure threshold, neck pain, and functional disability using an algometer, visual analogue scale (VAS), and the Neck Disability Index (NDI), respectively. Patients were evaluated at the three stages of before the treatment, immediately after the treatment, and 6 weeks after the last treatment session.Results: Despite the significant effects of the three treatment methods on increased pain threshold, and reduced severity of pain and functional disability (P < 0.05), the results showed no significant difference between the groups in the last session (P > 0.05). However, significant differences were observed between the two interventional groups ‎and the control group (P < 0.05) 6 weeks after the treatment. The statistical test power of VAS on the last session and 6 weeks after the treatment was, respectively, 68% and 79%.Conclusion: Due to the positive effects of dry needling and postural correction reeducation and the significant difference of these groups with the control group 6 weeks after the treatment, the use of these treatment methods is recommended in individuals with upper trapezius trigger points.


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