Purpose of Technology: Dry needling (DN) is a skilled intervention by which thin filiform needles are used to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying trigger points (TrPs), muscle, and connective tissues to manage neuromusculoskeletal pain and impaired movement.
Rationale: Although its mechanism of action is unclear, DN is used to relieve pain and improve function in patients with TrPs, usually in conjunction with a muscle-stretching intervention.
Controversy: Controversial issues related to the clinical use of DN include safety and effectiveness versus other modalities, optimal technical parameters for administration, and patient selection (i.e., which patients might benefit the most from the treatment).
- Does DN reduce pain and disability or improve range of motion (ROM) in patients with mechanical neck and/or trapezius muscle pain?
- How does DN compare with sham or no DN and with alternative active treatments in patients with mechanical neck and/or trapezius muscle pain?
- Is DN safe?
- Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for the use of DN for patients with mechanical neck and/or trapezius muscle pain?
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