Exercise and dry needling for shoulder pain and dysfunction

Is dry needling of added value on top of exercise?

Shoulder pain is a significant health problem permeating all levels of health care. With astounding costs and treatment options there still exists no consensus on an effective treatment protocol. Conservative treatment is often the first option when confronted with subacromial pain and options vary from: exercise, manual therapy, acupuncture, dry needling and therapeutic modalities.

Exercise alone has likely shown to be the most efficacious treatment method, however new research is emerging to support the use and application of trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN). Considering these things, the authors set out to determine the efficacy of exercise and dry needling versus exercise alone on patients with subacromial pain. Overall, it was shown that the addition of dry needling was effective at improving shoulder pain-related disability. However there was no greater improvement in shoulder pain between the 2 populations.

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