Neck pain: does the number of needles matter?
Italian researchers have investigated the ‘dose’ of acupuncture that is necessary to achieve an adequate analgesic effect in patients with cervical myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Thirty-six patients were divided into two groups: the first group was treated with five needles while the second group was treated with 11 needles. The duration of needle stimulation was the same in both groups (100 seconds) and each group received six acupuncture sessions. Pain intensity was evaluated before, immediately after and one and three months after treatment. In both groups the needles were inserted superficially, apart from the two most painful trigger points where they were deeply inserted. The results showed that both groups - independently of the number of needles used - obtained a good therapeutic effect, without clinically relevant differences. The authors conclude that, for this pathology, the number of needles does not seem not to be important in determining the therapeutic effect. (Neck Pain Treatment With Acupuncture: Does the Number of Needles Matter? Clin J Pain. 2010 Nov-Dec;26(9):807-12).