TRIGGER POINT DRY NEEDLING

A Component of Effective Management of Myofascial Pain

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TRIGGER POINT DRY NEEDLING

Trigger point dry needling or for short, dry needling, is a technique that Physical Therapists use to manage pain stemming from a muscle or connective tissue.  In this procedure, your PT will use a sterile technique to insert a thin filiform needle into an area of tissue identified to be causing pain or dysfunction.  The goal of inserting the “dry” (or without medication) needle in to a trigger point is to elicit a “twitch” response.  When the trigger point is hit at the proper angle, the muscle will involuntarily twitch which reduces or eliminates the muscle dysfunction and/or pain.  Trigger point dry needling is an effective tool used in conjunction with manual therapy and exercise to help you return to the activities you love more quickly and with less pain.

WHAT IS A TRIGGER POINT?

Myofascial trigger points are taut bands within muscle tissue which are deemed to be “hyperirritable.”  We know from MRI studies that trigger points are actually bands of muscle contracted within a muscle belly.  Some people will refer to this muscle state as a localized contracture within the muscle.  It’s as if one small part of the muscle is continuously contracting and not able to relax.  We also know from research that inside of a trigger point there is an acidic environment and neurotransmitters that are known to cause nocioceptive (or pain) inputs.  The twitch response caused by trigger point dry needling relaxes the localized muscle contracture and causes the acidic environment and pain related neurotransmitters being released to be reabsorbed by the body.  This change can improve the function of the muscle and decrease pain.

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All Physical Therapists at Advanced Rehabilitation Services have been trained and/or certified in safe use of this technique.  Your PT will work with you to determine if you an appropriate candidate for this procedure and if it would benefit your course of care with us.

 

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