We compared the effectiveness of dry needling with a classical physiotherapy program in patients with chronic low-back pain caused by lumbar disc hernia (LHNP). [Subjects and Methods] In total, 34 subjects were allocated randomly to the study (n=18) and control groups (n=16). In the study group, dry needling was applied using acupuncture needles. The control group performed a home exercise program in addition to hot pack, TENS, and ultrasound applications. Pain was assessed with the short form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire. The number of trigger points and their pressure sensitivity were evaluated with a physical examination (palpation). The Beck Depression Inventory was used to assess depression. The Tampa Kinesiophobia Scale was used to assess fear of movement.
In the study group, the calculated Cohen’s effect sizes were bigger than those in the control group in terms of pain, trigger point-related variables, and fear of movement. Effect sizes for reducing depressive symptoms were similar in both groups.
These results suggest that dry needling can be an effective treatment for reducing pain, number of trigger points, sensitivity, and kinesiophobia in patients with chronic low-back pain caused by lumbar disc hernia.