Trigger point dry needling is a physical therapy technique in which a trained, certified physical therapist inserts small, sterile filament needles into the skin and muscle in order to decrease pain caused by trigger points. These trigger points are highly localized, hyper-irritable spots in a taught band of skeletal muscle fibers, often referred to as “knots,” that can alter muscle performance, as well as produce and maintain pain.
Dry needling does not deliver any medication, hence the term “dry”. Therefore, the treatments can be done more frequently with no adverse side effects.
The needle used is very thin and when inserted, produces a local twitch response or rapid depolarization of muscle fibers. After this process, the muscle activity dramatically reduces, which results in relaxation and decreased pain and dysfunction. This decrease in pain is related to the removal of muscular compression on your joint, nerve, and vascular tissue. Additionally the treated area will respond by increasing blood flow to create a healing response.
Typically within a few treatments, patients will have reduced chronic pain, improved strength and flexibility.
Dry needling is highly effective for chronic muscle and repetitive sport injuries and can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems such as:
- Neck, back, & shoulder pain
- tennis elbow
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- golfer’s elbow
- tension headaches and migraines
- jaw pain
- hamstrings strains
- calf tightness/spasms