Nonspecific shoulder pain has common in older adults and causes functional alterations. Furthermore, there are challenges in establishing a clinical diagnosis, effective treatments are lacking, and little evidence has been found regarding the use of invasive physical therapy techniques in this age group. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of a single physical therapy intervention with deep dry needling (DDN) on latent and active myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in older adults with nonspecific shoulder pain. Statistically significant differences (P < .05) in the pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) of the extensor carpi radialis brevis were observed in the experimental group in both posttreatment assessments. Moreover, the effect size values (d Cohen) varied from small for grip strength (0.017-0.36) to moderate for the severity of pain (0.46-0.78) and PPT in the anterior deltoid (0.49-0.66) and to large for the PPT in the extensor carpi radialis brevis (1.06-1.58).
A single physical therapy intervention with DDN on 1 latent MTrP, in conjunction with 1 active MTrP, in the infraspinatus muscle may increase the PPT of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle area immediately after and 1 week after the intervention in older adults with nonspecific shoulder pain.