The immediate effect of dry needling of the most tender active myofascial trigger point of the rotator cuff musculature on bowling speed in action cricket fast bowlers
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Purpose Cricket fast bowlers are prone to the development of Myofascial pain syndrome and in particular active myofascial trigger points in their rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder joint (Scott, et al. 2001). This is due to the severe stresses placed upon the muscles, bones and joints of the shoulder as a result of the high velocity throwing action (Bartlett, et al.1996). In muscles containing active myofascial trigger points a decrease in the stretch range of motion as well as the maximal contractile force is noted, these two factors may negatively affect the speed at which a fast bowler deliver the ball (Travell, Simons and Simons, 1999). Dry needling is viewed as the most effective means of deactivating myofascial trigger points leading to in increase in both the contractile force and range of motion of the affected muscle, which could increase the speed at which the bowler delivers the ball (Wilks, 2003). The aim of the study was to determine the immediate effect of dry needling active myofascial trigger points of the rotator cuff on bowling speed in action cricket fast bowlers. Method The study consisted of 40 participants (randomly split into two equal groups of 20) each with shoulder pain of a myofascial origin. Group A (intervention group) received the dry needling intervention in their most tender active myofascial trigger point. While participants in Group B (control group) received no treatment. Bowling speeds were measured both before and after the intervention, to determine its effect on bowling speed. IV Data was entered into MS Exel spreadsheet and imported into SPSS version 15 (SPSS Inc.,Chicago, Iiiinois, USA), which was used for data analysis. Paticipants were evaluated on bowling speed, Algometer readings and Numerical pain rating Scale (NRS) both pre and post intervention. Participants were also asked if they believed the intervention increased, decreased or had no effect on their bowling speeds. Two sample t-test was used to compare baseline values between the groups. A repeated measure ANOVA was used to compare the rate of change of each outcome over time in the two groups. Pearson’s correlation analysis (intra-group) was used to assess the strength and magnitude of correlations of the changes in the outcomes. The McNemar – Bowker test and Weighted Cohen’s kappa statistics were calculated to assess agreement between perceived and actual levels of change. Results A significant treatment effect was observed in the intervention group were an increase in bowling speed, algometer readings as well a decrease in Numerical pain rating scale(NRS) scores was observed. There was also a perceived increase in the speed the participants delivered the ball in the intervention group. No significant changes were observed in the control group. The findings of this study indicate that dry needling as a treatment modality would be beneficial to fast bowlers in not only increasing their speeds but also the pain experienced as a result of active myofascial trigger points.