Improvements after dry needling for craniofacial pain in a patient with chronic rhinosinusitis: a case report

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background: Typically treated medically, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a prevalent condition characterized by multiple craniofacial symptoms, some of which may respond favorably to dry needling intervention. Objective: To describe the outcomes of a patient presenting with craniofacial pain and symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of CRS who was treated with dry needling. Case Description: A 41-year-old male, self-referred to physical therapy with a diagnosis of CRS, with a 20-year history of signs and symptoms associated with CRS, including craniofacial pain and headaches. The patient had been treated with multiple medication regimens over this time, including antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, decongestants, leukotriene inhibitors, and antibiotics; all of which provided only short-term relief. On initial examination, the patient was tender to palpation in multiple muscles of the head, neck, and face. Intervention consisted of dry needling to these muscular tender points once or twice weekly over 2 months. Outcomes: After 2 months of dry needling, the patient demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements in pain and quality of life, which included a decrease in both medication usage and the frequency of sinus infections. Conclusion: Although CRS is generally managed medically, we observed areas of muscular tenderness in this case, which were effectively managed with dry needling. Rehabilitative providers may consider screening CRS patients for muscular impairments that may be modifiable with dry needling. Further research should be performed to determine whether dry needling has a role in the management of CRS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Alnwick, GM; Clewley, D; Beuning, B; Koppenhaver, S

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5040

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-3985

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09593985.2022.2085218

Citation Source

  • Scopus