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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 327307, 15 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Dry Needling versus Orthopedic Manual Therapy in Patients with Myofascial Chronic Neck Pain: A Single-Blind, Randomized Pilot Study

1Faculty of Health Science, Department of Physiotherapy, The Center for Advanced Studies University La Salle, Faculty of Health Science, The Autonomous University of Madrid, Aravaca, Madrid, Spain
2Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, King Juan Carlos University, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
3Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research, IdiPAZ, Madrid, Spain
4Motion in Brains Research Group, The Center for Advanced Studies University La Salle, The Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain
5Institute of Neuroscience and Craniofacial Pain (INDCRAN), Madrid, Spain
6Movement Analysis Laboratory, University Hospital Niño Jesus, Madrid, Spain
7Department of Physiotherapy, European University of Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón, Madrid, Spain

Received 5 September 2015; Accepted 21 October 2015

Academic Editor: Giustino Varrassi

Copyright © 2015 Irene Campa-Moran 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. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of three interventions for the treatment of myofascial chronic neck pain. Methods. Thirty-six patients were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: orthopedic manual therapy (OMT), dry needling and stretching (DN-S), and soft tissue techniques (STT). All groups received two treatment sessions with a 48 h time interval. Outcome measures included neck pain intensity measured using a visual analogue scale, cervical range of motion (ROM), pressure pain threshold for measuring mechanical hyperalgesia, and two self-reported questionnaires (neck disability index and pain catastrophizing scale). Results. The ANOVA revealed significant differences for the group × time interaction for neck disability, neck pain intensity, and pain catastrophizing. The DN-S and OMT groups reduced neck disability. Only the OMT group showed decreases in mechanical hyperalgesia and pain catastrophizing. The cervical ROM increased in OMT (i.e., flexion, side-bending, and rotation) and DN-S (i.e., side-bending and rotation) groups. Conclusions. The three interventions are all effective in reducing pain intensity. Reduction in mechanical hyperalgesia and pain catastrophizing was only observed in the OMT group. Cervical ROM improved in the DN-S and OMT groups and also neck disability being only clinically relevant for OMT group.