The immediate effects of dry needling levator scapulae on neck rotation range of motion
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Citation:Tan, Y.J. (2013). The immediate effects of dry needling levator scapulae on neck rotation range of motion. An unpublished research thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Osteopathy at Unitec Institute of Technology.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2699
OBJECTIVE: To determine the immediate effect of dry needling levator scapulae on neck rotation. DESIGN: Within subject pre-post intervention design. PARTICIPANTS: 31 participants (n=19 males; n=12 females; mean age 31.7 ± 9.96 y) recruited from a general population completed the study. METHODS: Participants received a single session of dry needling to levator scapulae on one side only. Prior to needling, each participant reported current pain intensity on a visual analogue scale. Pre-test and post-test measurements of neck range of motion in rotation were taken using an electrogoniometer to both left and right sides independently. A laser pointer was used to relocate neck rotation back to a participant defined neutral. Dry needling involved insertion of a single acupuncture needle into a taut band in levator scapulae and manipulated until no muscle twitch response was able to be further elicited and there was a palpable difference in levator scapulae with respect to the taut band. RESULTS Neck rotation relative to the side needled revealed a mean difference on the ipsilateral side of 2.71o (95% CI = 1.12o to 4.29o; t = -3.49; df = 30; p= 0.002) and no significant change in mean difference to the contralateral side of 0.99o (95% CI = 0.29 to 2.27o; t = -1.58; df = 30; p= 0.13). No significant difference was found after subcategorising by pain or dysfunction. CONCLUSION: Dry needling of levator scapulae improves neck rotation to the same side as needling, however the clinical relevance of this increase is unclear. An approach to analysis that involves categorisation of participants by dysfunction and pain status may be useful in determining responsiveness to dry needling for functional changes, however, this requires further investigation.