Dry Needling Trigger Point Therapy

What is Dry Needling?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-acupuncture-needles-image17993025Dry needling is a skilled intervention in which a sterile, thin monofilament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. It is one of the best ways to completely remove trigger points and is often more effective than other manual therapies. The advantage over other techniques is that we can treat parts of the muscle and deeper layers of muscle, which our hands and fingers can not touch. Deactivation of trigger points can bring immediate relief of symptoms.

What are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are hypersensitive, tightened spots which can occur in any muscle. These spots or nodules are found within a taut band in the muscle. Trigger points cause pain, tingling, burning, weakness and other symptoms. They have a special property called referred pain. This means they cause pain right where they are and pain in other areas.

How do I get trigger points?

They are established from injuries that occur from accidents, sports, occupations, and disease. They can also be caused by long term repetitive strain on muscles from poor ergonomics, posture and repetitive movements. Physical or emotional stress frequently aggravates trigger points. Myofascial pain accounts for as much as 85% of the pain people suffer from. Acute and chronic myofascial pain is a very common condition.

What is performed?

A very fine monofilament needle is inserted into the muscle. Prior to insertion the trigger point is located by palpating the muscle. Often patients don’t feel the needle insertion at all. Once the needle goes into the trigger point the muscle typically begins to release, sometimes the muscle “twitches” which feels like a very quick muscle contraction. There can be a mild cramping sensation that accompanies the needle insertion or twitch. This treatment can allow muscle shortenings to release to their normal length, circulation to improve, swelling to recede, and the chemicals to disperse, thereby removing the noxious effects on the local nerves. The relief is often rapid with a reduction in pain and improved function.