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Dry needling combined with exercise therapy: Effects on wrist flexors spasticity in post-stroke patients – A randomized controlled trial

NeuroRehabilitation. 2024 Feb 23. doi: 10.3233/NRE-230081. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The positive contribution of dry needling (DN) in conjunction with exercise therapy for patients with stroke and spasticity remains uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of DN combined with exercise therapy on wrist flexor spasticity and motor function in patients with stroke.

METHODS: Twenty-four participants with stroke were randomly assigned to either the DN and exercise therapy group or the DN alone group. Assessments were conducted at baseline, after the 4th treatment session, and 3 weeks post-treatment.

RESULTS: A significant Group×Time interaction was observed for wrist active range of motion (ROM) (P = 0.046), favoring the DN with exercise therapy group (∼10° at baseline, ∼15° immediately after the 4th session, and 15.4° at follow-up). The improvements in spasticity, passive ROM, and H-reflex latency were sustained during follow-up. However, there were no significant between-group differences in any outcome at any measurement time point.

CONCLUSION: The combined DN and exercise therapy did not exhibit superiority over DN alone concerning spasticity severity and motor function. However, it demonstrated additional advantages, particularly in improving motor neuron excitability and wrist passive extension.

PMID:38393926 | DOI:10.3233/NRE-230081


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