Trigger-Point Dry Needling for the SOF Medic.
| ID: mdl-28088815
We propose that trigger-point dry needle (TrP-DN) therapy is an effective low-risk treatment for pain associated with myofascial trigger points (MTrP), and should be incorporated into the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medic's scope of practice. Furthermore, TrP-DN therapy can be used as a treatment adjunct on the SOF continuum of care, providing analgesia and increased tolerance for rehabilitative therapy, thereby facilitating improved patient outcomes and faster return to operational readiness. The incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in the SOF community is discussed, as are available treatment options TrP-DN methods, a case study of a Soldier deployed to Afghanistan, the science behind the subject of MTrP and TrP-DN, and the risks associated with TrP-DN and how we can mitigate them effectively. Caution should be used in the interpretation of a body of literature based largely on case studies. Although the amount of published evidence in support of the potential benefits of TrP-DN is growing, larger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials and studies that evaluate the effects of TrP-DN in a methodologically rigorous and statistically significant way are needed. Based on anecdotal evidence of and personal experience with the success of the therapy, as well as its growing use within both civilian and military medicine, the possible therapeutic benefit of TrP-DN is relevant for the SOF community.