April 9, 2018

Dry needling + Exercise = Happy Shoulders

Author: Maggie Henjum


Subacromial pain syndrome describes non-traumatic shoulder that is typically worse with reaching and lifting of the arm. Subacromial pain syndrome, often referred to as shoulder impingement, encompasses a number of conditions including bursitis, rotator cuff or biceps tendinopathy and tendinitis. A recent randomized clinical trial explored the cost effectiveness of including trigger point dry needling into an exercise program for the management of subacromial pain syndrome. Researchers found reduced costs of care and better quality of life with the inclusion of trigger point dry needling when compared to exercise alone over a 1 year follow up. Participants in the exercise plus dry needling group made fewer visits to a general practitioner and had fewer complementary PT sessions. Missed workdays were also lower in the exercise plus dry needling group. Exercise is one of the highest supported interventions for the management of subacromial pain syndrome. This research supports the use of trigger point dry needling to further improve patient’s quality of life and reduce cost of care over 1 year.



Trigger Point Dry Needling for Shoulder Pain Arias-Buría, J. L., Martín-Saborido, C., Cleland, J., Koppenhaver, S. L., Plaza-Manzano, G., & Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C. (2018). Cost-effectiveness Evaluation of the Inclusion of Dry Needling into an Exercise Program for Subacromial Pain Syndrome: Evidence from a Randomized Clinical Trial. Pain Medicine, 1-12.