Evaluation of the Sympathetic Skin Response to the Dry Needling Treatment in Female Myofascial Pain Syndrome Patients

J Clin Med Res. 2016 Jul;8(7):513-8. doi: 10.14740/jocmr2589w. Epub 2016 May 29.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity following dry needling (DN) treatment, by using the sympathetic skin response (SSR) method in female patients diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS).

Methods: Twenty-nine MPS patients with trapezius muscle pain and 31 healthy subjects were included in this study. During a single treatment session, DN treatment was applied into trigger points, for a duration of 10 minutes. Healthy patients were subjected to SSR in weeks 1 and 4; whereas the patient group was subjected to SSR 1 week prior to their treatment and in the first, second, third and fourth weeks following the completion of their treatment.

Results: We found diminished latency on both sides. A significantly high algometer measurement (P < 0.05) was observed in the control group. DN treatment was effective in diminishing the visual analog scale (VAS) (P < 0.001), pressure pain threshold (PPT) (P < 0.01), and SSR (P < 0.001). No SSR change was detected in the healthy group after the follow-up period (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: DN is an effective treatment in MPS and trigger point (TP). This original study is the first to deal with the SSR in MPS and weekly SSR trailing, requiring further investigation to solidy findings.

Keywords: Dry needling; Myofascial pain syndrome; Sympathetic skin response; Trigger point.