• Dry Needling Improves Ankle Spasticity, Range of Motion and Balance in Stroke

  • Changes from the addition of Dry Needling (to standard physical therapy) in a group of 26 adults with stroke hemiparesis and foot/ankle equinovarus deformity (a deformity where increased tone pushes the toes down and turns the bottom of the foot inward).

    The 26 adults were randomly divided between the Dry Needling group or standard stroke treatment group. Both groups received a standard session of Physical Therapy (Bobath principle) strengthening, stretching, movement therapy. The Dry Needling group received ultrasound guided dry needle placement needling into the tibialis posterior muscle. All adults in both groups received a standardizes measure of spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale), function (Fugl Meyer Scale), and stability measure with a computerized dynamic posturography system. These measures were taken before and 10 minutes after treatment sessions by a clinician blinded to each patient’s treatment group.


    Compared to the standard physical therapy treatment group, a greater number of Dry Needling group patients exhibited a reduction in spasticity, greater improvements in balance, sensory, and range of motion (in the domains of the Fugl-Meyer Scale). The Dry Needling group also showed more gains in movement velocity, and the accuracy of maintaining stability (better displacement, better directional control, and increased velocity).

    This and other studies indicate that Deep Dry Needling to leg/ankle muscles, combined with physical therapy methods, may better improve mobility and balance in persons who have suffered a stroke.

    Functional Dry Needling® is provided at all Legacy Therapy locations, and available for CVA (Stroke) and other neurological condition patients who have lower extremity spasticity and mobility, balance deficits. To schedule your initial assessment with Legacy, please contact us today at (334) 699-2348.


    Sánchez-Mila Z, et al. Effects of dry needling on poststroke spasticity, motor function and
    stability limits: a randomized clinical trial. Acupunct Med 2018; 36:358–366. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2017-011568