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Effects of dry needling on function, hypertonia and quality of life in chronic stroke: a randomized clinical trial

Acupunct Med. 2021 Dec 13:9645284211056347. doi: 10.1177/09645284211056347. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Persons with stroke commonly have impairments associated with a reduction in functionality. Motor impairments are the most prevalent, causing an impact on activities of daily life.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a session of dry needling (DN) applied to the upper extremity muscles on the sensorimotor function, hypertonia, and quality of life of persons with chronic stroke.

METHODS: A randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial was performed. Participants were randomly assigned into an intervention group that received a single session DN in the biceps brachii, brachialis, flexor digitorum superficialis and profundus, extensor digitorum, adductor pollicis and triceps brachii muscles, or into a control group that received the same treatment but with a sham DN intervention. Treatment outcomes included the Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale for the upper extremity, the Modified Modified Ashworth Scale, and the EuroQol-5D questionnaire. Measurements were carried out before, immediately after, and 14 days after intervention.

RESULTS: Twenty-three persons participated in the study. Significant differences between groups were observed after the intervention in the total wrist-hand motor score (p = 0.023) and sensorimotor score (p = 0.022), for hypertonia in the elbow extensors both after treatment (p = 0.002) and at follow-up (p = 0.018), and in quality of life at follow-up (p = 0.030).

CONCLUSIONS: A single session of DN improved total wrist-hand motor function and total sensorimotor function in persons with chronic stroke immediately after treatment, as well as quality of life 2 weeks after treatment.


PMID:34894776 | DOI:10.1177/09645284211056347


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