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Dry needling versus friction massage to treat tension type headache: A randomized clinical trial.

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Dry needling versus friction massage to treat tension type headache: A randomized clinical trial.

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2019 Jan;23(1):89-93

Authors: Kamali F, Mohamadi M, Fakheri L, Mohammadnejad F

Tension type headache (TTH), the most common type of headache, is known to be associated with myofascial pain syndrome and the existence of myofascial trigger points. There are several treatment options for myofascial trigger points. In this study we compared the effectiveness of dry needling and friction massage to treat patients with TTH. A convenience sample of 44 patients with TTH participated in this randomized clinical trial. The frequency and intensity of headache, pressure pain threshold at the trigger point site, and cervical range of motion were recorded. Then the participants were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups for dry needling or friction massage, delivered in 3 sessions during 1 week. The participants were evaluated 48 h after the last treatment session. Analysis of covariance, paired t-test and Wilcoxon’s test were used for statistical analysis. The results showed that both treatment methods significantly reduced headache frequency and intensity, and increased pain threshold at the trigger points. However, neither treatment had any effect on cervical range of motion except for extension, which increased in the dry needling group. Between-group comparisons showed that dry needling increased pain threshold significantly more than friction massage. There were no significant differences between groups in any other outcome variables. Dry needling and friction massage were equally effective in improving symptoms in patients with TTH. The decreases in frequency and intensity of headache were similar after both dry needing and friction massage.

PMID: 30691768 [PubMed – in process]


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