OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacies of dry needling of trigger points (TrPs) with and without paraspinal needling in myofascial pain syndrome of elderly patients. DESIGN: Single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. SUBJECTS: Forty (40) subjects, between the ages of 63 and 90 with myofascial pain syndrome of the upper trapezius muscle. INTERVENTIONS: Eighteen (18) subjects were treated with dry needling of all the TrPs only and another 22 with additional paraspinal needling on days 0, 7, and 14. RESULTS: At 4-week follow-up the results were as follows: (1) TrP and paraspinal dry needling resulted in more continuous subjective pain reduction than TrP dry needling only; (2) TrP and paraspinal dry needling resulted in significant improvements on the geriatric depression scale but TrP dry needling only did not; (3) TrP and paraspinal dry needling resulted in improvements of all the cervical range of motions but TrP dry needling only did not in extensional cervical range of motion; and (4) no cases of gross hemorrhage were noted. CONCLUSIONS: TrP and paraspinal dry needling is suggested to be a better method than TrP dry needling only for treating myofascial pain syndrome in elderly patients.
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