Trigger point dry needling is a treatment technique used by Physiotherapists designed to release tight muscles and permanently reduce pain and dysfunction. It directly addresses problems that cause muscle tightness, joint stiffness, and symptoms of pain and irritation. This ‘muscle tightness’ is often known as a ‘trigger point’.
What is a ‘trigger point’?
A trigger point is a painful point that can be felt as a taut band in the muscle. A twitch response can be produced when the point is stimulated either by manual pressure or by stronger stimuli, such as an acupuncture needle. Research has shown that there is increased spontaneous electrical activity (SEA) at this active trigger point. This electrical activity causes the nerve-muscle connection to trigger the muscle to be tight. A number of inflammatory and pain producing chemicals are present at an active trigger point which causes pain and dysfunction of the muscle affecting nerves and joints around that area.
What can Dry Needling do?
Dry Needling has been shown, upon inducing a twitch response in the active trigger point and muscle, to reduce or completely eliminate the spontaneous electrical activity and the irritating chemicals in that trigger point. This can immediately decrease pain, improve range of motion and improve function.
What can you expect?
Often, a cramping sensation is felt from the twitch response, however improvements of symptoms quickly follows. The site of needling may be tender the day after treatment however with correct management, this tenderness generally eases within 24 hours.
The staff at Momentum Physiotherapy & Pilates believe that utilizing trigger point dry needling in treatment sessions allows the patient a quicker return to their desired activity i.e. work or sport, with improved maintenance of their specific injury. Dry needling can provide an almost immediate reduction in pain which results in a more effective rehabilitation.