Aim To compare the efficacy of acupuncture needling and 0.5% lidocaine injection of trigger points in myofascial pain syndrome of elderly patients.
Methods Thirty nine participants with myofascial pain syndrome of one or both upper trapezius muscles were randomised to treatment with either acupuncture needling (n=18) or 0.5% lidocaine injection (n=21) at all the trigger points on days 0, 7 and 14, in a single-blinded study. Pain scores, range of neck movement, pressure pain intensity and depression were measured up to four weeks from the first treatment.
Results Local twitch responses were elicited at least once in 94.9% of all subjects. Both groups improved, but there was no significant difference in reduction of pain in the two groups at any time point up to one month. Overall, the range of cervical movement improved in both groups, apart from extension in the acupuncture needling group. Changes in depression showed only trends.
Conclusion There was no significant difference between acupuncture needling and 0.5% lidocaine injection of trigger points for treating myofascial pain syndrome in elderly patients.
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