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Efficacy of Deep Dry Needling versus Percutaneous Electrolysis in Ultrasound-Guided Treatment of Active Myofascial Trigger Points of the Levator Scapulae in Short-Term: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Life (Basel). 2023 Apr 3;13(4):939. doi: 10.3390/life13040939.


Deep dry needling (DDN) and percutaneous electrolysis (PE) provide the benefit of the mechanical effect of the needle, and PE adds the potential advantages of the galvanic current it incorporates in myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) therapy. The aim of this study was to compare the short-term efficacy between PE and DDN on active MTrPs of the levator scapulae by considering pain intensity. A simple-blind randomized controlled trial was carried out, recruiting patients suffering from non-specific neck pain lasting more than 3 months and with active MTrPs in the levator scapulae muscle (n = 52). Patients were divided into intervention (PE; n = 26) and control (DDN; n = 26) groups and received one treatment session on the active MTrPs of the levator scapulae. Patients were assessed for pain intensity, pressure pain threshold (PPT), cervical range of motion (CROM), neck disability and post-needling soreness, immediately after treatment, at 72 h and at 14 days. In addition, pain during treatment was recorded after the procedure. There were no significant differences for pain intensity, post-needling soreness and PPT. We found significant differences in CROM, immediately after treatment (p = 0.043), and at 72 h (p = 0.045), in favor of the PE group. Significant differences were found for neck disability (p < 0.047), immediately post-treatment, in favor of the DDN group. Moreover, there were significant differences for pain during the intervention (p < 0.002), in favor of the DDN group (4.54 ± 2.21) versus the PE group (6.54 ± 2.27). PE and DDN appear to have similar short-term effects. PE proved to be a more painful treatment than DDN. Clinical trial registry: NCT04157426.

PMID:37109468 | DOI:10.3390/life13040939


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