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Effects of dry needling in the sternocleidomastoid muscle on cervical motor control in patients with neck pain: a randomised clinical trial
Martin-Rodriguez A, Saez-Olmo E, Pecos-Martin D, Calvo-Lobo C
Acupuncture in Medicine 2019 Jun;37(3):151-163
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To determine the changes produced by trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN) of sternocleidomastoid in patients with neck pain, and to observe how it might modify cervical motor control (CMC). DESIGN: Single-centre, randomised, double-blinded clinical trial. SETTING: Participants were recruited through advertising. The duration of the study was 6 months. SUBJECTS: Thirty-four subjects with non-specific neck pain, aged over 18 years with an active myofascial trigger point in sternocleidomastoid, participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. METHODS: TrP-DN inside or (1.5 cm) outside of the active myofascial trigger point of sternocleidomastoid. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: CMC, visual analogue scale and cervical range of motion were assessed before treatment, immediately post treatment, and 24 h, 1 week and 1 month after the intervention; the neck disability index was evaluated before treatment and 1 month later. RESULTS: With a confidence interval of 99%, TrP-DN of sternocleidomastoid was associated with a decrease in pain after 1 week and CMC improved 1 month after the intervention (p < 0.001), when compared with baseline measurements, within the experimental group; there were no statistically significant differences between experimental and control groups. CONCLUSION: The effects of TrP-DN inside and outside of active myofascial trigger points did not differ in this study. Both interventions were associated with a similar temporal effect, specifically a reduction in neck pain at 1 week and an increase CMC at 1 month. However, these findings should be interpreted with caution due to the lack of a contemporaneous untreated control group.

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