Background: and purpose: The aim of this systematic review with meta-analysis is to determine the effect of dry needling in the treatment of MTrPs.
Methods: Searches were performed using the electronic databases AMED, EBM reviews, Embase, and Ovid MEDLINE (all from database inception-February 2012).
Study selection: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they compared dry needling with another form of treatment or placebo and included pain intensity as an outcome.
Data extraction: Two blinded reviewers independently screened the articles, scored their methodological quality and extracted data.
Quality assessment: Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) quality scale and the Cochrane risk of bias tool were used.
Results: Four RCTs compared dry needling to lidocaine and one RCT compared dry needling to placebo. Meta-analyses of dry needling revealed no significant difference between dry needling and lidocaine immediately after treatment standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.41 (95%CI -0.15 to 0.97), at one month (SMD -1.46; 95% CI -2.04 to 4.96) and three to six months (SMD -0.28; 95% CI -0.63 to 0.07).
Discussion: Although not significant in the meta-analyses, there were interesting patterns favoring lidocaine immediately after treatment and dry needling at three to six months.
Keywords: Dry needling; Lidocaine; Myofascial trigger points; Randomised controlled trial.
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