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A group of Chinese researchers who carried out a network meta-analysis on acupuncture techniques commonly used for myofascial pain syndrome has concluded that they are effective in decreasing pain and in improving physical function. Thirty-three trials involving 1,692 patients were included. Patients were allocated to 22 kinds of interventions, of which dry needling and manual acupuncture were most frequently investigated. Overall, most acupuncture therapies showed superiority over the other physical therapies in terms of pain decrease and physical function improvement. Compared with placebo/sham acupuncture, scraping (guasha) combined with acupuncture and moxibustion was found to be most effective for decreasing pain intensity; only electro-acupuncture led to a significant improvement in range of motion.

Acupuncture for Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Network Meta-Analysis of 33 Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician. 2017 Sep;20(6):E883-E902.


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