Article Text

FRI0591-HPR Trigger Point Dry Needling as an Adjunct Treatment for Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
  1. Z. Hazar1,
  2. H. Arslan2
  1. 1Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Gazi University Health Science Institution
  2. 2Administrator of Polatlı Duatepe State Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Background Adhesive capsulitis is a common shoulder condition of unknown etiology that is commonly treated by conservative therapy. Trigger point dry needling has been supposed to be beneficial in the treatment of adhesive capsulitis.

Objectives To investigate the effect of trigger point dry needling on pain, range of motion and shoulder functions in patients with adhesive capsulitis.

Methods 20 patients (8 males, 12 females; mean age 51±8 years old; range 40 to 65 years old) were included in this study. Patients were randomized into a dry needling group (n=10) or control group (n=10). All patients underwent a rehabilitation program including cold application and exercises twice a week. A total of 12 treatment sessions were performed. Dry needling, targeting trigger points, with the goal to decrease pain associated with the trigger points was performed. The range of motion was measured by universal goniometer. Functional activity status was assessed by Constant's score. The pain level was evaluated by visual analog scale. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare between the parameters of groups, while Wilcoxon test was used to compare pre and post-treatment parameters of the patients.

Results The range of motion, functional activity status were improved and the pain level was reduced after rehabilitation in all of the patients in both groups (p<0.05). There was no difference in duration of the treatment between the groups (p>0.05). There were no differences in range of motion, functional activity status and pain level before and after rehabilitation between groups (p>0.05)

Conclusions Trigger point dry needling was found to be no more effective in improving function, pain and shoulder range of motion than control in patients with adhesive capsulitis. This preliminary conclusion will need to be studied and verified through future work.


  1. Settergren R. Treatment of supraspinatus tendinopathy with ultrasound guided dry needling. J Chiropr Med. 2013 Mar; 12(1): 26-9.

  2. Rha DW, Park GY, Kim YK, Kim MT, Lee SC. Comparison of the therapeutic effects of ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma injection and dry needling in rotator cuff disease: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehabil. 2013 Feb; 27(2): 113-22.

Acknowledgements The authors thank TÜBİTAK for financial support.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-eular.3667

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