Treatment of supraspinatus tendinopathy with ultrasound guided dry needling

J Chiropr Med. 2013 Mar;12(1):26-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2012.11.002.


Objective: The purpose of this case study is to describe the treatment of a patient with tendinopathy using sonographically guided dry needling. Tendinopathies are a highly prevalent problem in musculoskeletal medicine, and no one form of treatment has gained universal acceptance as being superior to another.

Clinical features: A 30-year-old woman with a 4-month history of anterolateral right shoulder pain was diagnosed with supraspinatus tendinopathy upon physical examination, which was confirmed with diagnostic sonography.

Intervention and outcome: Sonography was used to guide an acupuncture needle into the pathologic tissue to induce a humoral healing response. Therapeutic exercise was also prescribed. At 10-day follow-up, increased echogenicity was found in the previously heterogenous hypoechoic areas. The patient also experienced a subjective resolution of her shoulder pain, which did not return with increased physical activity.

Conclusions: Sonographically guided dry needling was shown to be beneficial for this patient as evident by sonographic changes pre- and postprocedure.

Keywords: Acupuncture; Rotator cuff; Tendinopathy; Ultrasonography.