Physical Therapy Treatment Of Chronic Neck Pain A Discussion And Case Study: Using Dry Needling And Battlefield Acupuncture

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    Guthrie RM, Chorba R 16(1). 1 - 5 (Case Reports)

    Purpose: Chronic mechanical neck pain can have a complex clinical presentation and is often difficult to treat. This case study illustrates a successful physical therapy treatment approach using dry needling and auricular acupuncture techniques. Case Report: A 51-year-old active-duty, male US Marine was treated by a physical therapist in a direct-access military clinic for chronic neck pain poorly responsive to previous physical therapy, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions. Needling techniques were combined with standard physical therapy interventions to address the comprehensive needs of the patient. Within five treatments, the patient reported reduced pain levels from 8-9/10 to 0-2/10, improved sleep quality, and increased function with daily activities. Over several months, the patient reduced multiple medication use by greater than 85%. The effects of treatment were lasting, and the patient accomplished a successful transition to an independent maintenance program. Conclusion: Needling techniques have the potential to expedite favorable physical therapy outcomes for active-duty service members suffering from chronic mechanical and degenerative neck pain. The dramatic improvements observed in this case warrant additional exploration of treatment efficacy and delineation of best practices in the delivery of these techniques.

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