Q: What is it and what does it do?
A: The goal of trigger point dry needling is to reduce pain, muscle spasm and muscle tension by treating trigger points, or ‘knots’ in the muscle (the existence of trigger points is a debatable topic in the PT world but we will save that for another day). The needle, which is actually an acupuncture needle, causes a twitch response of the muscle that leads to neurologic and hormonal change, helping to relieve pain and relax the muscles.
Q: It sounds painful, does it hurt?
A: There are definitely some areas of the body that are more sensitive than others but for the most part people are surprised by how little they actually feel the needle. The needles are very small, much smaller than a needle you would get an injection with.
Q: Sounds great, what does it help with and is it right for me?
A: While dry needling is great, it isn’t for everyone. However, we have found that it can be very helpful for many conditions including: headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, tennis/golfers elbow, low back pain, hip pain / piriformis syndrome, knee pain / runner’s knee, calf pain, achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, and many more!
Sounds great, right?!?! I have treated hundreds of patients in the past with trigger point dry needling and they would agree! This can absolutely be a great adjunct to your physical therapy regimen. .
Have you ever had this treatment done? What did you think?
Dr. Ladd's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.