Dry Needling for Shoulder & Neck Pain

In today’s blog post, I wanted to share an excerpt from an article about a recent study in Dry Needling therapy for neck and shoulder pain.

Neck/shoulder pain is commonly located in the upper trapezius (UT) muscle.

Long lasting muscle activity (like a type task) may results in mitochondrial disturbances and reduced capillarisation which can sensitise nociceptors.

Some studies have found a decrease in blood flow and oxygenation in the UT muscle. Dry-needling is a treatment modality with an increased popularity among physiotherapists. It is suggested that dry needling may influence the microcirculation besides the mechanical effects like disruption of trigger points.

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of dry needling on blood flow and oxygen saturation of the UT in 20 healthy participants. One dry needling procedure was performed. Blood flow and oxygen saturation were evaluated at the treated point and 3 distant points in the UT at baseline and in the recovery period (0, 5 and 15 minutes post-treatment).

Blood flow and oxygen saturation were increased post-treatment at the treated point but not at the distant points. Further studies should use patients to show determine the effectiveness of this treatment modality. > From: Cagnie et al., Journal Manipulative Physiol Ther 35 (2012) 685-691. All rights reserved to National University of Health Sciences.


Dr Wayne W Mahmoud
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