Dry needling adds no benefit to the treatment of neck pain: a sham-controlled randomized clinical trial with 1-year follow-up

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

Key Points

  1. Dry needling was no more effective than sham dry needling as part of a multimodal treatment for neck pain.
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Neck pain is one of the most common sources of disability (1). Dry needling is a common treatment for musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain. It is usually performed at hypersensitive spots with a palpably taut band, which are known as ‘myofascial trigger points’ (2). There is a lack of clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness, especially in the long term (3).

This study examined the effectiveness of dry needling for neck pain when added to a treatment program that included manual therapy and exercise.

Neck pain is one of the most common sources of disability.
Dry needling offers no benefit over sham dry needling when added to a program that includes manual therapy and exercise.


This study was a randomized controlled trial. 77 adults with mechanical neck pain were included in the study and divided into two groups. One group received dry needling, manual therapy, and exercise. The other group received sham dry needling, manual

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