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Evaluation of the Efficacy of Ultrasound-Guided Dry Needling Therapy and Exercise in Piriformis Muscle Syndrome

Cureus. 2023 Aug 20;15(8):e43804. doi: 10.7759/cureus.43804. eCollection 2023 Aug.


BACKGROUND: Piriformis muscle syndrome (PMS) is characterized by symptoms of buttock pain and numbness radiating to the back of the thigh due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of dry needling (DN) therapy and exercise programs on pain, neuropathic pain, physical function, and disability in patients with PMS.

METHODS: Forty-four patients with PMS were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups, those who were treated with DN three times once per week under ultrasound guidance and those who had an exercise program for three weeks. To identify the outcomes of the treatment modalities, pre-treatment and post-treatment first-month and third-month visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire, Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), and Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) questionnaire scores were used.

RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in baseline scores of VAS (p = 0.548), DN4 (p = 0.446), and LEFS (p = 0.880), but in the DN group, baseline ODI scores were significantly higher than in the exercise group (p = 0.001). The group comparisons showed no statistically significant differences in decreasing pain, reducing disability, and increasing functional status scores among the groups at post-treatment first-month and third-month assessments (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Both treatment modalities are beneficial in reducing pain and disability, and increasing the functional status of the patients with PMS in three months of follow-up. In patients who cannot adapt to exercise programs, DN treatment under ultrasound guidance should be kept in mind as a minimally invasive treatment modality with no adverse effects.

PMID:37731410 | PMC:PMC10508642 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.43804


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