Neck/shoulder pain is one of the most common pain conditions with a prevalence in the general population being estimated between 10% and 15% (Sobhani, et al., 2016). It is more common in females than males. Manual trigger points are the common cause for this pain. There are many different forms of treatment to help manage these trigger points such as dry needling, friction massage, ischemic compression, manual pressure, orthopedic manual therapy, soft tissue massage, and strain-counterstrain technique. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effectiveness of pain reduction, increasing range of motion, and pressure pain threshold (PPT) using dry needling compared to manual therapy techniques in patients with neck/shoulder pain. The six articles meeting the inclusion criteria all had similar results. The outcomes being measured were pain intensity, neck disability index, pressure pain threshold, and cervical range of motion. All the articles showed dry needling compared to any of the other treatment groups were equally as effective in treating patients with myofascial pain symptoms. Overall, it has been shown dry needling compared to the other noninvasive manual therapy treatment methods had no significant differences between the outcomes; however, those outcome measures all had improved results. Future studies are needed to investigate the long-term effects and other possible involved muscles and their responses to the different treatments.
Forte, Nicole, "The Effects of Dry Needling Compared to Manual Therapy Techniques in Patients with Myofascial Neck Pain: A Systematic Review" (2020). 2020 SACAD Entrants. 25.