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Background and Purpose: During intramuscular manual therapy (IMT), an acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. The direct mechanical stimulation may interrupt the pathogenic mechanisms of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the application and efficacy of IMT on a patient suffering from right chronic elbow lateral epicondylalgia. Methods: A case study of a 26-year-old male presenting with a 6-month history of right elbow pain who failed 11 conservative physical therapy sessions and previous site-specific acupuncture. The patient received 5 IMT sessions over 4 weeks. Findings: The patient had full symptom resolution, range of motion and strength, and avoided surgical intervention. At 6-month follow-up, the patient remained symptom-free. Clinical Relevance: Current treatment for lateral epicondylalgia lacks clinical consensus. This case demonstrated the significant impact of IMT as an adjunct treatment and supports its initial implementation as part of conservative care.


This article was originally published in Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice, volume 25, issue 2, in 2013.


Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. Reposted with permission.



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