Systematic Review: Dry Needling, Ischemic Compression for Neck Pain Supported by Moderate-to-Strong Evidence

Authors of a new systematic review of neck pain interventions say that while it’s clear more research is needed, there is already moderate-to-strong evidence that both dry needling (DN) and ischemic compression (IC) can lessen pain intensity and increase range of motion, at least in the short-term. Evidence on the treatments’ effects in other areas associated with functionality and quality of life, however, is another story.

The review, e-published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (abstract only available for free), examined 15 clinical trials focused on trigger points (TPs) in the upper trapezius (UT) muscle in patients with neck pain, comparing either IC (7 studies) or DN (8 studies) with other interventions. None of the studies compared DN with IC.

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