The Effect of Dry Needling on the Radiating Pain in Subjects with Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Control Trial

Ashraf Mahmoudzadeh, Zahra Sadat Rezaeian, Abdolkarim Karimi, Jan Dommerholt


Background: Disk herniation is the most common cause of radiating LBP in subjects under 60 years of age. The present study aims to compare the effect of dry needling and a standard conservative approach on the pain and function in subjects with discogenic radiating low back pain. Materials and Methods: Fifty-eight subjects with discogenic radicular low back pain were screened and randomized into control (Standard physical therapy, N = 29) and experimental group (Standard physical therapy & Dry needling, N = 29). Radiating pain intensity and disability were measured using Visual Analogue Scale and Oswestry Disability indices at baseline, at the end of treatment and two months after the last intervention session.  the changes in pain intensity and disability were studied using a 3×2 repeated measures analysis of variance considering time as the within-subject factor and group as the between-subject. Results: Pain intensity and disability scores decreased significantly in both experimental and control groups (experimental group: VAS=37.24, ODI=28.48, control group: VAS=45.5, ODI=32.96), following the intervention. The change continued during the follow-up period (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Pain and disability improvement, however, were more significant in experimental group, both in post intervention (experimental group: VAS=25.17, ODI=22.17, control group: VAS=42.4, ODI=30.27) (P=0.05 and P=0.03, respectively) and in follow-up measures (P=0.006 and P=0.002, respectively).Conclusions: Both intervention strategies seem to significantly improve pain and disability immediately following intervention, where the improvement continued during two months after the last active intervention. Therefore, supplementary DN application may enhance the effect of the standard intervention considerably.

Key Words: Low Back Pain, Discogenic, Dry needling.

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