Dry Needling for Patellofemoral Pain

Phase-Based Estimates
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Patellofemoral Pain+2 More
Dry Needling - Procedure
18 - 65
All Sexes
Eligible conditions
Patellofemoral Pain

Study Summary

This study is evaluating whether a specific type of acupuncture may help reduce pain and improve muscle strength and leg function for individuals with knee pain.

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Eligible Conditions

  • Patellofemoral Pain
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • Pain Disorder
  • Syndrome
  • Somatoform Disorders

Treatment Effectiveness

Study Objectives

This trial is evaluating whether Dry Needling will improve 2 primary outcomes and 4 secondary outcomes in patients with Patellofemoral Pain. Measurement will happen over the course of Baseline and Post testing (week 3).

Week 3
Change from Baseline Anterior Knee Pain Scale (AKPS) score to 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Isometric knee and hip peak torque values to 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Lateral step-down (LSD) test score to 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) score to 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) score to 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Pressure Pain Threshold to 3 weeks

Trial Safety

Trial Design

5 Treatment Groups

Glute Sham Dry Needling
Quad Dry Needling
Placebo group

This trial requires 120 total participants across 5 different treatment groups

This trial involves 5 different treatments. Dry Needling is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will be divided into 2 treatment groups. Some patients will receive a placebo treatment. The treatments being tested are not being studied for commercial purposes.

Quad Dry Needling
Receives dry needling to their quadriceps muscles in addition to standard physical therapy treatment.
Glute Dry Needling
Receives dry needling to their gluteal muscles in addition to standard physical therapy treatment.
Glute Sham Dry Needling
Receives sham dry needling to their gluteal muscles in addition to standard physical therapy treatment.
Quad Sham Dry Needling
Receives sham dry needling to their quadriceps muscles in addition to standard physical therapy treatment.
Receives only standard physical therapy treatment.
First Studied
Drug Approval Stage
How many patients have taken this drug
Dry Needling
Completed Phase 2

Trial Logistics

Trial Timeline

Approximate Timeline
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: baseline and post testing (week 3)
This trial has the following approximate timeline: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and roughly baseline and post testing (week 3) for reporting.

Who is running the study

Principal Investigator
M. B.
Prof. Matt Briggs, Clinical Assistant Professor
Ohio State University

Closest Location

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center - Columbus, OH

Eligibility Criteria

This trial is for patients born any sex between 18 and 65 years old. There are 3 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
The individual has been experiencing anterior knee pain around the patella during activities such as ascending or descending stairs, squatting, and running for at least 3 months. show original
People in the age range of 18-40 years old. show original
Physical therapy is a form of treatment that helps to improve movement and decrease pain show original

Patient Q&A Section

Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.

What is patellofemoral pain?

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Data from a recent study reveals that PF pain has a prevalence of 43% in the general population. It is seen from the study as an integral part of the multifactorial pain concept. Further studies are needed to clarify its pathogenesis.

Unverified Answer

What are the signs of patellofemoral pain?

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Pain from the patella is very common. The pain typically starts during adolescence. The pain rarely resolves; however, the patella may heal when the pain improves. Pain is usually caused by small tears in the patellar tendon.

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What causes patellofemoral pain?

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It is unclear why PFP has a gender disparity, but it is thought its onset can occur after a knee injury. The pain is thought to originate from the patellar tendon and is therefore thought to result from overuse. There is only moderate to good evidence to support the use of a brace or a splint in the conservative management of knee pain after a positive McMurry line. There is no evidence to support the use of a joint hypermobility syndrome, massage therapy, steroid injections, or ultrasound therapy. There is limited evidence that suggests exercises can be used to manage discomfort of the patellar tendon and that the patella can be manipulated to reduce the discomfort during activity.

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How many people get patellofemoral pain a year in the United States?

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About 42 million Americans have PFOP at some point in their lives. There will be an estimated 40 million new cases of PFOP in the United States a year.

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Can patellofemoral pain be cured?

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While a vast majority of patients presenting to physical rehabilitation centres have some improvement, there is no statistically significant difference in the outcome between those who were originally diagnosed with patellofemoral pain and those with femorotibial osteoarthritis. There is, however, a significant difference in the improvement in symptoms in the patients who had an arthroscopic debridement with or without osteoplasty. Patellofemoral pain should therefore be regarded as an initial presentation of patella baja. A diagnosis of true or pseudo-patella baja should be made when possible and patella baja should be carefully monitored.

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What are common treatments for patellofemoral pain?

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Given the lack of evidence that any specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) can replace acetaminophen in alleviating patellofemoral pain, we argue that other non-traditional treatments for patellofemoral pain such as eccentric exercise, proprioception training, eccentric endurance, and stretching in order to avoid over-flexion and abduction strengthening should be more studied and discussed more widely in order to relieve the patellofemoral pain.

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How does dry needling work?

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Overall, we found no evidence that dry needling is better or worse than placebo in improving pain, function or health-related quality of life in patients with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome during the short term.

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What are the latest developments in dry needling for therapeutic use?

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In recent years, dry needling has been a popular technique in a wide range of medical institutions in various parts of the world. This popular technique is most common in China with a variety of applications such as treatment of chronic pain for orthopaedic and soft tissue disorders. However, in spite of the large number of studies done on dry needling, there have not been studies done on their specific mechanisms of action, no controlled trials, and some of their therapeutic effects have been shown to be ineffective, based on the results of these studies. There is a limitation of our study that the number of study groups was small (n = 2).

Unverified Answer

What is the average age someone gets patellofemoral pain?

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Although the [knee pain](https://www.withpower.com/clinical-trials/knee-pain) from patellofemoral pain is most intense when suddenly kneeling or walking, most of those with patellofemoral pain are symptomatic while sitting or standing. This suggests that patellofemoral pain is not a good surrogate indicator of patellofemoral subchondral damage. The patellar baja deformity is also uncommon in people with patellojejunal pain and should not be used as a screening test for subchondral bony lesions.

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Has dry needling proven to be more effective than a placebo?

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While dry needling showed increased efficacy relative to placebo for relieving pain, it was less effective than acupuncture. In addition, increased pain ratings were greater in the dry needling group. Recent findings suggest that dry needling is more likely to be more effective than acupuncture to relieve pain, and more likely to generate elevated pain scores for people with fibromyalgia. Further research is required into these findings.

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Does patellofemoral pain run in families?

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This case suggests that more research on familial clustering of PFP may be necessary to determine the genetic basis of PFP. Additionally, the study highlights the role of FMs and family-focused therapy in the management of PFP.

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