Onat SS, Polat CS, Bicer S, et al. Effect of Dry Needling Injection and Kinesiotaping on Pain and Quality of Life in Patients with Mechanical Neck Pain. Pain Physician. 2019 Nov;22(6):583-589. (Original study)

BACKGROUND: Dry needling (DN) is a commonly used technique by clinicians for the treatment of mechanical neck pain (MNP) by targeting trigger points and nontrigger point structures. It is a skilled intervention that uses a thin ?liform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying trigger points, muscular and connective tissues without the use of injectate. Another popular treatment technique used in the management of musculoskeletal pathologies is kinesiotaping (KT). Although its popular, there is minimal scientific evidence supporting KT for neck pain. Although there are a few studies regarding KT for neck pain in literature, there is a lack of randomized, controlled studies evaluating KT for neck pain.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of KT on posterior cervical spine and DN into a posterior paracervical muscle of patients with MNP.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized clinical study.

SETTING: Physical medicine and rehabilitation center.

METHODS: Seventy-two patients (17 men, 55 women) were randomly assigned to DN or KT treatment groups. Numeric Rating Scale (NPS-11), Neck Disability Index (NDI), range of motion (ROM), Short Form-36 Quality of Life Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were assessed before the intervention and one month postintervention.

RESULTS: Before treatment, there was no difference between groups in NPS-11, NDI, and BDI scores; however, ROM of the DN group was greater than ROM of the KT group (P < 0.05). After treatment, significant improvement was observed in all variables for both of the groups, except ROM in the DN group (P < 0.05). The KT group showed greater ROM compared with the DN group (P < 0.05). The pre- and posttreatment results showed that the KT group was significantly superior for the differences on ROM and NDI (P < 0.05); however, each group showed better results after treatment (P < 0.05).

LIMITATIONS: First, we did not include a control or placebo group. Second, patients were followed up for only 4 weeks. Third, we used a sample of convenience from one clinic, which may not be representative of the entire population of individuals with MNP.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, both methods were found to be effective on pain, mood, and quality of life, and KT was found to be superior to DN in MNP in terms of increasing ROM and decreasing disability.

KEY WORDS: Dry needling, kinesiotaping, mechanical neck pain, quality of life.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) 5 / 7
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Comments from MORE raters

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

As a physiotherapist, treatment of a patient never only includes DN and/or KT taping. In my opinion, that constitutes treating the symptoms without addressing the origin of the pain in the first place. It would be interesting to see what the long-term effects this treatment would be without the origin of the problem being addressed.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

My background is with individuals diagnosed with chronic mental illness. Therefore, this article is only indirectly related. The information would most probably be new but may not be applicable.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

The article highlights passive modalities of intervention (DN and KT), however both groups performed home-based regional exercises. It was not standalone therapy(ies). It is therefore highly questionable the true effects of DN and KT on outcomes. Natural history or exercising are more likely to explain the results.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

The dry needling methods, rationale, and treatment were not clearly described and not reproducible. Dry needling of neck muscles can be performed in various depths and to various regions (C4-C7 for example). The concept of the study was good, but it is not suggested to perform kinesiotaping or dry needling in isolation of postural re-education and stabilization exercises.
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