The effect of the combination of dry needling and MET on latent trigger point upper trapezius in females

Man Ther. 2016 Feb;21:204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.08.004. Epub 2015 Aug 14.


Aim: The purpose of this clinical trial experiment was to compare the effects of the combination of dry needling (DN) and the muscle energy technique (MET) on the upper trapezius latent myofascial trigger point.

Method: Sixty female patients, aged 18-30 with latent myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle were randomly divided into three groups: group 1 (n = 20) received DN and MET, group 2 (n = 20) received only MET, and group 3 (n = 20) received only DN. The visual analogue scale (VAS), pressure pain threshold (PPT), and range of active contra lateral flexion (CLF) were measured before each treatment. The patients were treated for three sessions in a one-week period with at least a two-day break between each session, and in session four, an assessment of primary outcomes was conducted without any treatment.

Results: All three treatment groups showed decreases in pain (p = 0.001) and increases in PPT levels (p = 0.001) as well as increases in CLF (p = 0.001). But the group receiving trigger point DN together with MET showed more significant improvement than the other two groups in VAS, PPT and ROM. No significant differences were found between the MET-only group and the DN-only group.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that all three treatments used in this study were effective for treating MTP. According to this study, DN and MET is suggested as a new method for the treatment of MTP.

Keywords: Dry needling; MET; Myofascial pain syndromes; Trigger point.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Manipulation, Osteopathic / methods*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / rehabilitation*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Trigger Points / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult