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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-20

Ultrasound-guided dry needling of masticatory muscles in trigeminal neuralgia – A case series of 35 patients

Ashirvad Institute for Pain Management and Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. L Vas
Ashirvad Institute for Pain Management and Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.jpgm_797_21

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Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) is considered a sensory neuropathy. However, reports of pain on chewing/speaking suggest a masticatory myofascial involvement. Objective: To examine the effect of ultrasound-guided dry needling (USGDN), which deactivates myofascial trigger points in masticatory, neck, and facial muscles on TGN symptoms. Methods: Charts of 35 patients treated for TGN were retrospectively reviewed. Treatment was USGDN alone or combined with trigeminal ganglion/mandibular nerve pulsed radiofrequency (PRF), followed by yoga mudras to stretch masticatory and facial muscles. Patients were followed for 1–8 years. Outcome parameters were reduction of medications with reduction in neuralgic attack frequency and Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score. Results: 23 patients (65.7%) received USGDN alone, 12 patients (34.3%) received PRF treatment before USGDN. A significant reduction in the mean (SD) NRS (5.7 [1.2] vs 8.8 [1.6]; P < .001) and neuralgic attack frequency (47 [27] vs 118 [70] attacks/day; P < .001) was seen after PRF compared with baseline, respectively. Following USGDN, the mean (SD) NRS further decreased significantly to 1.0 (0.9) (P < .001). USGDN alone produced a similar improvement in the NRS (8.9 [1.5] at baseline reduced to 0.6 [0.7] post-USGDN; P < .001). Patients in both groups reported a cessation in neuralgic attacks after USGDN. Post-USGDN, 18/27 patients completely discontinued medication, with the mean (SD) carbamazepine dose significantly reducing from 716.7 (260.9) mg/day at baseline to 113.0 (250.2) mg/day post-USGDN (P < .001). Conclusion: Decisive relief of TGN by USGDN suggests neuromyalgia involving masticatory muscles. Prospective, controlled studies could confirm these findings.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow