Trigger point dry needling

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Before we start discussing what dry needling is, we should first explain what dry needling is used for.  Dry needling is used to treat trigger points (commonly called muscle knots).

Trigger points are defined as hyperirritable spots located in a tight band of muscle that is painful when compressed, stretched, or activated.  Locally, trigger points can promote and cause muscle weakness, altered muscle activity, muscle spasm, muscle imbalance, and muscle irritability.  On a global scale, affecting the whole body, trigger points can reduce the body’s pain threshold and allow for non-painful stimulus to be perceived as pain (called allodynia) or cause the body to have an overreaction to painful stimulus (called hyperalgesia). 

Trigger points are one of the most common and often overlooked causes of pain.  Trigger points may occur in the absence of other medical issues and may also be associated with other underlying conditions.

 Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of trigger point dry needling on reducing local and global muscle pain and sensitivity as well as improving muscle strength, muscle activity, and muscle balance.

Trigger point dry needling is performed by using a thin monofilament needle that is inserted directly into the muscle at the site of the trigger point.  The needle is used to elicit a local twitch response, which is an involuntary twitching of the muscle.  This twitch response is usually the goal of dry needling and represents the elimination of a trigger point.

Anyone experiencing pain that is either being caused or perpetuated by trigger points can benefit from dry needling.  

At GOfit Physical Therapy, we perform a complete examination that includes the evaluation of trigger points that may be causing or contributing to your pain.  We use dry needling as a part of a well-rounded physical therapy treatment plan.