Impact of Needle Diameter on Long-Term Dry Needling Treatment of Chronic Lumbar Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jul;95(7):483-94. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000401.


Objective: To investigate the impact of diameter of needles on the effect of dry needling treatment of chronic lumbar myofascial pain syndrome.

Design: Forty-eight patients with chronic lumbar myofascial pain syndrome were randomly allocated to 3 groups. They received dry needling with needles of diameter 0.25 (group A), 0.5 (group B), and 0.9 mm (group C). Visual analog scale evaluation and health survey were conducted at baseline and 3 months after the treatment.

Results: Visual analog scale scores were significantly different in all groups from baseline to 3 months. Visual analog scale scores at 3 months showed differences between group C and the other 2 groups. When baseline and 3 months after treatment (0 day and 3 months) in each of the 3 groups was compared, there was a difference between group C and group B. The Short Form (36) Health Survey scores from baseline to 3 months were different within the treatment groups.

Conclusions: Visual analog scale score evaluations at 3 months showed efficacy in all groups. Results of 3 months showed that efficacy of treatment with larger needles (0.9-mm diameter) was better than that of smaller ones (0.5-mm diameter). The Short Form (36) Health Survey scores at 3 months indicated that treatments with needles of varying diameters were all effective, and when the results of 3 months were compared, there was no difference between the 3 groups.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / methods
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Needles*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome