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Effects of Trigger Point Dry Needling on Neuromuscular Performance and Pain of Individuals Affected by Patellofemoral Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors Ma YT, Li LH, Han Q, Wang XL, Jia PY, Huang QM, Zheng YJ

Received 28 November 2019

Accepted for publication 8 June 2020

Published 7 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1677—1686

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S240376

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval


Yan-Tao Ma, 1, 2,* Li-Hui Li, 2, 3,* Qi Han, 1 Xiao-Lei Wang, 1 Pei-Yu Jia, 1 Qiang-Min Huang, 2 Yong-Jun Zheng 1

1Department of Pain Management, Huadong Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Sport Rehabilitation, School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Medicine, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yong-Jun Zheng; Qiang-Min Huang Email zhengyongjun1971@126.com; huaqia404@aliyun.com

Purpose: To investigate the effects of trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN) on exercise-induced patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
Patients and Methods: In this randomized, single-blind, parallel-group trial, 50 patients with PFPS were randomly allocated to the following two groups: the TrP-DN group (n = 25) and the Sham needling group (n = 25). Patients in both groups were asked to perform a stretching exercise of the quadriceps daily after needling. The needling group received a single session of TrP-DN to trigger points (TrPs) in the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), vastus lateralis (VL), and rectus femoris muscles (once a week for 6 weeks), and the Sham group received placebo needling. Visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain intensity and Kujala questionnaire for the functional status were assessed before treatment, 3 and 6 weeks after treatment, and at the 3-month follow-up. The ratio of the myoelectric amplitude of the vastus medialis oblique and vastus lateralis muscles (VMO/VL) was assessed before treatment and 6 weeks after treatment.
Results: There was no significant difference in the general data between the two groups. The VAS scores and Kujala scores in the TrP-DN group were significantly improved and increased at the 3-week treatment visit, 6-week treatment visit, and 3-month follow-up compared to the scores before treatment; and the scores in the Sham group were only significantly improved at the 3-week treatment visit, and 6-week treatment visit. VAS scores in the TrP-DN group were significantly lower and Kujala scores were significantly higher at the 6-week treatment visit and the 3-month follow-up compared to those in the Sham group. The VMO/VL ratio in the TrP-DN group was significantly increased at the 6-week treatment visit compared to that before treatment.
Conclusion: TrP-DN at the quadriceps combined with stretch can reduce the pain, and improves the clinical symptoms and function, the VMO/VL ratio, and the coordination of VMO and VL in patients with PFPS.

Keywords: patellofemoral pain syndrome, myofascial trigger points, stretching

Corrigendum for this paper has been published

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