Effects on Muscle Activity After Dry Needling in Myofascial Trigger Points of the Gastrocnemius Muscles

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
Updated on 6 October 2021
Accepts healthy volunteers


Trigger points (TrPs) are a common musculoskeletal cause of local and referred muscle pain, as well as local inflammation in the muscle and fascia. From a clinical and sensory viewpoint, TrPs may be classified as active or latent. The principal difference is the reproduction of symptoms experienced by an individual (active) with or without stimulation. Local and referred pain elicited from latent TrPs may be transient in duration upon stimulation, and latent TrPs may be present without spontaneous symptoms.

Both active and latent TrPs induce motor dysfunctions such as stiffness, restricted range of motion, and accelerated fatigability in the affected muscle. The interrater reliability of manual identification of latent TrPs in the calf muscles has been found to range from small to moderate. The clinical relevance of latent TrPs has increased in the last decade,4 and some studies have investigated the effects of treating them. Among all manual therapies targeted to latent TrPs, ischemic compression, or TrP pressure release, is the most commonly used. Although TrPs may affect any muscle, the gastrocnemius muscle may be the most susceptible in the lower extremity to developing them. It has been reported that 13% to 30% of the asymptomatic population has latent TrPs in these muscles, and their presence may affect sport practice.

The purpose of this study will be to evaluate changes in muscle activity in myofascial trigger points (TrPs) after a single treatment session of dry needling in the gastrocnemius muscle.

A randomized controlled clinical trial with blinded assessor will be conducted. 90 asymptomatic volunteers with MrPs gastrocnemius -muscle TrPs will bilaterally explored. After exploration the volunteer will be asigned to either Control (no treatment), experimental (60 seconds of dry needling on the TrP that refers more pain on the randomly assigned extremity) or sham group (60 seconds of dry needling on the TrP that refers more pain with a sham needle with no tip). To be part of the sham group patients should not have received any dry needling before.

Muscle activity is commonly recorded in research using surface electromyography (sEMG). sEMG has previously been used in similar studies because it is less invasive than intramuscular electromyography. Electromyography will be performed using the mDurance surface electromyograph (mDurance Solutions SL; Granada, Spain) in order to capture muscle activity of the lateral and medial Gastrocnemius muscles (Electrodes will be placed as described by the mDurance application) during an unilateral countermovement Jump (in both extremities) and 20 meter Sprint. There will be a resting period of at least 2 minutes between exercises to prevent the results from being affected by fatigue.

Condition Myofascial Trigger Point Pain
Treatment Dry needling, Sham Dry Needling
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04985578
SponsorUniversitat Internacional de Catalunya
Last Modified on6 October 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

A TrP will be diagnosed using the following criteria: palpable taut band, presence of a painful spot in the taut band, and referred pain on palpation of the spot

Exclusion Criteria

Participants were excluded if they reported any pain symptoms in the lower extremities in the previous year
They were also excluded if they presented previous surgical interventions, previous lower-extremity injury, any underlying medical disease, pregnancy, or muscle soreness after vigorous exercise
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note