C-15C Free Communication/Slide Modalities in Athlete Care
A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial was performed to ascertain the effect on range of motion and muscle pain of dry needling of the gluteal muscles in athletes with hamstring pain of non hamstring origin.
59 subjects of a sporting background (mostly Australian Rules Football) were recruited. MRI scans of the hamstrings were normal and hamstring pain was reproducible with pressure on the gluteal trigger points. Each SUBJECT underwent baseline measures of straight leg raise (SLR) and hip internal rotation (hip IR). Muscle pain and tightness at rest and on running activity were recorded on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Subjects were randomized to a placebo or therapeutic needling group and received one intervention to their gluteal trigger points. Outcome measures were repeated immediately and at 24 and 72 hours.
There was no change in SLR or hip IR compared to baseline measures. VAS scores for resting parameters were unchanged. Running hamstring pain and tightness and running gluteal pain and tightness improved significantly at the immediate post intervention measures (p = 0.001) and did not change significantly thereafter. There was no group effect on this result (p > 0.05). Both placebo and therapeutic needling groups improved equally.
The equivalent change in both groups may reflect the placebo effect or diffuse noxious inhibitory control.