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Title: The effect of cryotherapy on post dry needling soreness
Authors: Chonan, Dheshini
Issue Date: 2008
Dry needling is the most effective way of treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome and
appears to be as effective as an injection of an anaesthetic into myofascial trigger
points. However the side effect common to both dry needling and the injection of
an anaesthetic, is the development of post-needling soreness. Post-needling
soreness results from bleeding at the area of needle insertion. The immediate
application of cold to a needled area may decrease the severity of the cellular
damage by restricting local bleeding. Cryotherapy can also decrease both nerve
excitability and histamine release, which may result in decreased pain
experienced by patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the
effectiveness of cryotherapy on post dry needling soreness.
Therefore a randomised, 2 group parallel controlled clinical trial was proposed to
test this hypothesis. Sixty asymptomatic volunteer participants between 18 and 50
were randomly divided into two equal groups - group A (combination group)
received dry needling in conjunction with a cold gel pack, and group B received
dry needling only. Algometer readings, a Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NRS 101)
and a 24 Hour Pain Diary were used as assessment tools.
SPSS version 15 was used for data analysis (SPSS Inc. Chicago, Ill, USA).
Baseline demographics and outcome measurements (NRS 101, Algometer
readings and 24 Hour Pain Diaries) were compared between the two groups using
Pearson’s chi square tests or Independent Samples t-tests as appropriate
For the evaluation of the treatment effect for the NRS 101 and Algometer
outcomes, repeated measures ANOVA procedure was used. Twenty four hour
Pain Diaries by group interactions were reported for comparison of the treatment
effect in the two treatment groups. The number of participants reporting pain at
various time points post treatment were compared cross-sectionally by group with
Pearson’s chi square tests. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare time
points post treatment at which the worst pain was experienced between groups.
The change in the presence of pain over time was recorded as either no change,
an increase (from no pain to pain) or a decrease (from pain to no pain). This wascompared between treatment groups using the Pearson’s chi square test. Intragroup
correlations between changes in outcome variables were achieved with
Pearson’s correlation. P values of <0.05 were considered as statistically
The results of the study showed no evidence of a beneficial effect of cryotherapy
on objective or subjective findings. Thus it can be concluded that cryotherapy as
used in this study had no significant effect on reducing post dry needling
Dissertation submitted in partial compliance with the requirements for the Master's Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2008.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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