Systematic review of needling for myofascial pain

Mike Cummings, A.R. White
United Kingdom


To establish whether there is evidence for or against the efficacy of needling therapies in the treatment of myofascial pain.


A systematic literature review was undertaken of randomised, controlled studies in which some form of needling therapy was used to treat myofascial pain. Two reviewers independently extracted data concerning study methods, quality and outcomes.


23 studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight of the ten trials, and all seven of the highest quality trials, which assessed wet needling with different substances, found that the effect was independent of the injected substance. All three trials which compared dry with wet needling indicated that dry needling was no different in effect from wet needling. No trials were found of sufficient quality or design to test the specific efficacy of any needling technique in the treatment of myofascial pain.


The results will be discussed at the presentation.