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Dry Needling for Patients With Back Pain

June 5, 2019


Similar to acupuncture, dry needling is an alternative form of medicine that uses hollow-core hypodermic needles for therapeutic relief of muscle, including back pain. It is being used more and more for musculoskeletal conditions. Many recent studies of dry needling have shown decreased pain, improved range of motion, and decreased disability. This clinical trial examines the short and long term effectiveness of dry needling on pain improvement with patients with back pain using questionnaires, manual joint therapy, and therapeutic exercises of the spine, abdomen, and hips.


Study Information

This is an interventional study, where a new treatment is tested, and has an estimated 48 participants. It is a single-blind, randomized, parallel assignment. An outcomes assessment will be taken by someone without knowledge to specific details of the group assignment. The study began on March 2019 and is estimated to be completed by June 2022.


Inclusion Criteria

  • All genders, ages 18 & older
  • Patient complaints of back pain
  • A score from the Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire from the Modified Oswestry Disability Index greater than 10 points = 20%


Exclusion Criteria

  • Red flags noted in the patient’s Low Back Medical Screening (i.e. tumor, fracture, metabolic diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, prolonged history of steroid use, pregnancy, ankylosing spondylitis, cauda equina).
  • High dose use of blood thinners
  • Evidence of central nervous system involvement, to include involuntary nervous system overreaction (hyperreflexia), loss of feeling in feet, intrinsic muscle loss in the hands, unsteadiness during walking, involuntary eye movement (nystagmus), loss of visual acuity, impaired feeling in the face, loss of taste, the presence of pathological reflexes (i.e. positive Hoffman’s and/or Babinski reflexes), etc.
  • Workers compensation or pending legal action regarding their back pain
  • Insufficient English language skills to complete all questionnaires
  • Inability to comply with treatment and follow-up schedule



You may participate in this study at Concord Hospital Rehabilitation Services in Concord, New Hampshire, United States, 03301. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Sebastian DG Sabadis, MS at 603-228-4610 or at You may also contact Eric R Gattie, DPT at (603) 230-5634 or at



This study is sponsored by Concord Hospital and Franklin Pierce University, with Sebastian DG Sabadis, MS of Concord Hospital as the Principal Investigator.

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