Dry Needling Versus Strain-counterstrain on the Upper Trapezius (DNJ)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Eva Segura Ortí, Cardenal Herrera University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: February 4, 2011
Last updated: May 13, 2014
Last verified: May 2014
This study investigates the effect of two different techniques (dry needling and Strain-counterstrain manual technique) on the upper trapezius myofascial trigger point (MTP). Subjects with active or latent MTP in this location of the muscle will be identified and will be randomly assigned to one out of three groups: dry needling, strain-counterstrain or placebo manual technique. Pain pressure threshold, provoked pain, pain at rest, neck disability and electromyography (EMG) activity of the upper trapezius will be registered before and after six sessions of treatment.

Condition Intervention
Neck Pain
Other: Dry needling
Other: Strain-counterstrain technique
Other: Placebo manual technique

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Dry Needling Versus Strain Counterstrain Technique: Pilot Study Comparing Effects Over the Upper Trapezius Myofascial Trigger Point

Further study details as provided by Cardenal Herrera University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Pain Pressure Threshold [ Time Frame: 6 sessions ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Amount of pressure (Kg/cm2) applied at the myofascial trigger point site that elicit pain for the patient will be reported. Analogy pressure algometer(Wagner, FPK 20) will be used.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Pain at rest [ Time Frame: 6 sessions ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Visual Analogue Scale

  • Neck Disability [ Time Frame: 6 sessions ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Neck Disability Index

  • Electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius [ Time Frame: 6 sessions ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Surface EMG will be recorded (MP 100 de BIOPAC Systems; Goleta, California, USA). Electrodes will be located to register activity of the Upper trapezius, according to Surface ElectroMyoGraphy for the Non-Invasive Assessment of Muscles (SENIAM) guidelines. Microvolts of activity at rest will be recorded. Data will be normalized through calculation of maximal voluntary contraction, so that final data will be reported as a percentage.

Enrollment: 39
Study Start Date: February 2011
Study Completion Date: September 2011
Primary Completion Date: July 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Dry Needling of trigger point
Deep dry needling will be applied on the upper trapezius myofascial trigger point
Other: Dry needling
Deep dry needling until achieving twitch response of the muscle
Experimental: Strain-counterstraing technique
This manual technique will be applied at the upper trapezius.
Other: Strain-counterstrain technique
A manual technique to release tension of painful muscles.
Placebo Comparator: Placebo manual technique
A technique simulating strain-counterstrain, but without any therapeutic manoeuvre will be applied at the upper trapezius site.
Other: Placebo manual technique
A placebo technique, consisting of manual contact of the therapist with the patient without any further therapeutic approach


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Active myofascial trigger point at the upper trapezius

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed fibromyalgia
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Facial neuralgia
  • Coagulation alteration
  • Cancer
  • Allergy (included needles)
  • History of cervical or shoulder surgery
  • History of deep venous thrombosis
  • History of myopathy
  • History of infiltration at upper trapezius trigger point
  • Anticoagulant medication
  • Aspirin intake during the last 3 days
  • Drug intake (AINES, narcotics, antiepileptics, or any other analgesic medication)
  • Pregnancy
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01290653

Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera
Moncada, Valencia, Spain, 46113
Sponsors and Collaborators
Cardenal Herrera University
Principal Investigator: Eva Segura-Ortí, PhD Cardenal Herrera University
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Eva Segura Ortí, PhD, Cardenal Herrera University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01290653     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CEU UCH 203 
Study First Received: February 4, 2011
Last Updated: May 13, 2014
Health Authority: Spain: Ethics Committee

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on February 11, 2016