Recent meta analysis on Dry Needling by physical therapists in the latest JOSPT. Love that they include a caution in the findings. Still lacking high quality studies on dry needling and I have to admit doing sham needling and removing placebo effect would be tough to do. More research, research, research is needed. Free text available below with key findings:
FINDINGS: Very low– to moderate-quality evidence suggests that dry needling performed by physical therapists is more effective than no treatment, sham dry needling, or other treatments for reducing pain and improving PPT in patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain in the immediate to 12-week follow-up period. Very low– to low-quality evidence suggests superior outcomes with dry needling for functional outcomes when compared to no treatment or sham needling, but no difference in functional outcomes when compared to other physical therapy treatments. Evidence of the long-term benefit of dry needling is currently lacking.
IMPLICATIONS: Dry needling appears to be at least as effective as other treatments included in this review, and more effective than sham or no treatment for reducing pain and increasing PPT during the immediate to 12-week treatment period in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
CAUTION: The overall quality and limited number of studies reporting on dry needling performed by physical therapists at this time, combined with the high heterogeneity found in the results of the meta-analyses, indicate that readers should use caution when interpreting these results.
photo credit: http://epphysioplus.com/dry-needling/