Dry Needling in management of musculoskeletal pain
Kalichman L, Vulfsons S. Dry needling in the management of musculoskeletal pain. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(5):640-646. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2010.05.090296
Myofascial pain is a common syndrome seen by family practitioners worldwide. It can affect up to 10% of the adult population and can account for acute and chronic pain complaints. In this clinical narrative review we have attempted to introduce dry needling, a relatively new method for the management of musculoskeletal pain, to the general medical community. Different methods of dry needling, its effectiveness, and physiologic and adverse effects are discussed. Dry needling is a treatment modality that is minimally invasive, cheap, easy to learn with appropriate training, and carries a low risk. Its effectiveness has been confirmed in numerous studies and 2 comprehensive systematic reviews. The deep method of dry needling has been shown to be more effective than the superficial one for the treatment of pain associated with myofascial trigger points. However, over areas with potential risk of significant adverse events, such as lungs and large blood vessels, we suggest using the superficial technique, which has also been shown to be effective, albeit to a lesser extent. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of dry needling. There also is a great need for further investigation into the development of pain at myofascial trigger points.