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Dry needling in the management of tendinopathy: A systematic review of randomized control trials

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2023 Jan;33:128-135. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.09.021. Epub 2022 Sep 22.


INTRODUCTION: The objective of the study is to evaluate the best available evidence on the effectiveness of DN in the management of tendinopathy.

METHODS: Seven randomized control trials were selected following an electronic search in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases. To be included in the current systematic review, the study had to be an RCT conducted on human participants, which investigated the effect of the DN technique on the management of tendinopathies. Only studies in the English language published in peer-reviewed journals between 1999 and 2020 were included. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the PEDro scale.

RESULTS: The PEDro score of the studies ranged from 5 to 9 with a mean score of 6.7 ± 1.2 (mean ± SD). A total of 357 participants were enrolled in the seven included studies, which were on greater trochanteric pain syndrome, lateral epicondylitis, supraspinatus tendinopathy and Achilles tendinopathy. DN was compared with various interventions, including platelet-rich plasma injection, autologous blood injection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. All the selected studies reported a significant positive effect of DN on pain intensity and other outcome measures, such as patient-specific functional score, disability index, range of motion and health-related quality of life.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that DN appears to be as effective as other treatment methods at relieving pain and other symptoms of tendinopathy immediately after treatment and up to 6 months. DN can be considered among the many options available for the management of tendinopathy.

PMID:36775507 | DOI:10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.09.021


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