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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 235817, 8 pages
Research Article

Ultrasound-Guided Miniscalpel-Needle Release versus Dry Needling for Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Department of Pain Management, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1630 Dongfang Road, Shanghai 200127, China
2Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai Jiading Central Hospital, Shanghai 201800, China
3Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai First Rehabilitation Hospital, Shanghai 200090, China
4Department of Pain Management, Shanghai Jiading Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201800, China
5Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
6Department of Anesthesiology, Tongren Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200336, China

Received 22 April 2014; Revised 5 September 2014; Accepted 9 September 2014; Published 16 October 2014

Academic Editor: Lixing Lao

Copyright © 2014 Yongjun Zheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To compare ultrasound-guided miniscalpel-needle (UG-MSN) release versus ultrasound-guided dry needling (UG-DN) for chronic neck pain. Methods. A total of 169 patients with chronic neck pain were randomized to receive either UG-MSN release or UG-DN. Before treatment and at 3 and 6 months posttreatment, pain was measured using a 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS). Neck function was examined using the neck disability index. Health-related quality of life was examined using the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of the SF-36 health status scale. Results. Patients in the UG-MSN release had greater improvement on the VAS (by 2 points at 3 months and 0.9 points at 6 months) versus in the UG-DN arm; (both ). Patients receiving UG-MSN release also showed significantly lower scores on the adjusted neck disability index, as well as significantly lower PCS. No severe complications were observed. Conclusion. UG-MSN release was superior to UG-DN in reducing pain intensity and neck disability in patients with chronic neck pain and was not associated with severe complications. The procedural aspects in the two arms were identical; however, we did not verify the blinding success. As such, the results need to be interpreted with caution.