Decreased Spontaneous Electrical Activity and Acetylcholine at Myofascial Trigger Spots after Dry Needling Treatment: A Pilot Study

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017:2017:3938191. doi: 10.1155/2017/3938191. Epub 2017 May 16.


Objective: The aims of this study are to investigate the changes in spontaneous electrical activities (SEAs) and in acetylcholine (ACh), acetylcholine receptor (AChR), and acetylcholine esterase (AChE) levels after dry needling at myofascial trigger spots in model rats.

Materials and methods: Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups. Thirty-six rats were assigned to three model groups, which underwent MTrSs modeling intervention. Twelve rats were assigned to the blank control (BC) group. After model construction, the 36 model rats were randomly subdivided into three groups according to treatment: MTrSs model control (MC) and two dry needling groups. One dry needling group received puncturing at MTrSs (DN-M), whereas the other underwent puncturing at non-MTrSs (DN-nM). Dry needling treatment will last for two weeks, once a week. SEAs and ACh, AChR, and AChE levels were measured after one-week rest of dry needling treatment.

Results: The amplitudes and frequencies of endplate noise (EPN) and endplate spike (EPS) significantly decreased after dry needling treatment in the DN-M group. Moreover, ACh and AChR levels significantly decreased, whereas AChE significantly increased after dry needling treatment in the DN-M group.

Conclusion: Dry needling at the exact MTrSs is more effective than dry needling at non-MTrSs.