The following study demonstrates the effectiveness of trigger point dry on trigger points in the upper trap. As with any study there are limitations. Whenever I instruct IAMT’s Level 1 Trigger Point Dry Needling courses, I always make a point that therapists should not dry needle the upper traps solely. The reason being is that the upper trapezius is innervated by the XII cranial nerve and serves as a defense mechanism for other pathology. I have found in the clinical setting that I generate much better outcomes when I combine upper trapezius needling with other muscles such as levator scapulae or cervical multifidi. Despite this limitation this study is one of first randomized control studies done with dry needling and demonstrates the effectiveness of trigger point dry needling. Hopefully this study will lead to more studies of its kind in the future.
Link to Study Abstract
Dry Needling Upper Trapezius Protocol