Effectiveness of Deep Dry Needling vs Ischemic Compression in the Latent Myofascial Trigger Points of the Shortened Triceps Surae from Triathletes on Ankle Dorsiflexion, Dynamic, and Static Plantar Pressure Distribution: A Clinical Trial

Pain Med. 2020 Feb 1;21(2):e172-e181. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz222.


Objective: To determine the immediate efficacy of a single session of deep dry needling (DDN) vs ischemic compression (ICT) in a latent myofascial trigger point (MTrP) of the shortened triceps surae from triathletes for ankle dorsiflexion and redistribution of plantar pressures and stability.

Design: A randomized simple blind clinical trial (NCT03273985).

Setting: An outpatient clinic.

Subjects: Thirty-four triathletes with a latent MTrP in the shortened gastrocnemius.

Methods: Triathletes were randomized to receive a single session of DDN (N = 17) or ICT (N = 17) in a latent MTrP of the shortened triceps surae. The primary outcome was ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) by a universal goniometer. Secondary objectives were distribution of dynamic and static plantar pressures by T-Plate platform pressure, with measurements both before and after five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 minutes of treatment.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05) for ankle dorsiflexion ROM or dynamic and static plantar pressures between the experimental group treated with DDN and the control group treated with ICT before and after treatment.

Conclusions: DDN vs ICT carried out in latent MTrPs of the shortened gastrocnemius of triathletes did not present differences in terms of dorsiflexion ROM of the tibiofibular-talar joint or in static and dynamic plantar pressure changes before and immediately after treatment.

Keywords: Ankle; Articular; Athletes; Musculoskeletal Pain; Myofascial Pain Syndromes; Range of Motion; Trigger Points.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint
  • Athletes
  • Dry Needling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Trigger Points

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03273985