Type of Article:  Review

Volume 9; Issue 5 (October 2021)

Page No.: 4035-4039

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijpr.2021.186

The effectiveness of dry needling on hamstring flexibility: A systematic review

Day, James *, Kasuske, Kyla.

Department of Exercise Science and Sport Sciences Augustana University.

Address for Correspondence: Day, James, Master of Science in Athletic Training Program Augustana University 2001 S Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57197. E-Mail: james.day@augie.edu


Background: Hamstring injuries are a common problem for athletes, and hamstring tightness has been found to be a contributing factor to these injuries. Dry needling is a growing trend that poses the possibility of increasing flexibility through several mechanisms; however, there is currently no review on all of the studies done concerning the effectiveness of dry needling for improving hamstring flexibility. 

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of dry needling on hamstring flexibility in people with hamstring tightness.

Methods: Search terms included dry needling or intramuscular stimulation, flexibility or range of motion or ROM, and hamstring. The databases searched were PubMed, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL.)

Results: Ten articles were found from the initial search, and three remained after the removal of duplicates and screening the articles for abstracts and full text. Patients consisted of relatively young individuals with hamstring tightness. All studies used a stretching group for the comparison while interventions consisted of dry needling alone or dry needling with a stretching program. No studies showed a significant difference between dry needling and the control; however, all studies found that flexibility increased from baseline measurements following a dry needling treatment.

Discussion: The results indicate that while dry needling may not be a better option than stretching, it could be used as a means for improving hamstring flexibility. Possible factors for the effectiveness of dry needling include increased blood flow and oxygen saturation to the muscle as well as the release of myofascial trigger points.

Conclusion: Dry needling was not found to be significantly better than stretching, but poses a possibility as another method for improving hamstring flexibility.

KEY WORD: Hamstrings, Athletes, Flexibility, Tightness, Dry needling, Stretching.


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Cite this article: Day, James, Kasuske, Kyla.  RThe effectiveness of dry needling on hamstring flexibility: A systematic review. Int J Physiother Res 2021;9(5):4035-4039. DOI: 10.16965/ijpr.2021.186