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The Use of Dry Needling for a Subject with Acute Onset of Neck Pain: A Case Report.

Authors: Pavkovich R

Neck pain is a common complaint treated by the physical therapist. Trigger points (TrPs) have been studied as a source of neuromusculoskeletal pain, though the ability of clinicians to accurately locate a TrP is not well supported. Dry needling (DN) is an intervention utilized by physical therapists where a monofilament needle is inserted into soft tissue in order to reduce pain thereby facilitating return to prior level of function. The purpose of this case report is to report the outcomes of DN as a primary treatment intervention for acute, non-specific cervical region pain. Following treatment with dry needling, clinically meaningful improvements were noted in pain and disability, as measured by the Neck Disability Index and Quadruple Visual Analog Scale. Physical examination denoted minimal to no change in cervical AROM (likely associated with multi-level fusion), except for right lateral flexion, and no change in shoulder flexion/ abduction MMT. The patient was able to return to daily and work activities without further functional limitations caused by pain.  This case report shows promising outcomes for the use of DN in the treatment of non-specific cervical region strain. 

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