Dry needling is an effective form of treatment for a number of musculoskeletal pain conditions and symptoms. The needles are inserted into “trigger points” or knots of muscle tissue.
Trigger points can cause pain and stiffness in your muscles, and they also contribute to “referred pain” – pain that originates from other areas of the body because the knot is so tight.
What is Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger point therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses pressure to release tight muscles and improve circulation. This type Dry Needling Durham NC of massage is often performed by a physical therapist.
A therapist may use a combination of techniques to treat trigger points, including manual therapy and dry needling. The therapist will first perform a physical evaluation and muscle strength test to determine the underlying cause of your pain.
The therapist will also take a neurological exam to evaluate your reflexes and skin sensations. This helps the therapist locate specific muscle areas that need to be treated.
How is Trigger Point Therapy done?
When a muscle becomes overloaded or damaged, it can create a small knot of taut tissue called a trigger point. This tightness restricts blood flow to the muscle and leads to a buildup of waste products within the muscle cells that cause more pain.
Trigger points can be difficult to identify and treat. But once you know where they are, a trigger point massage therapist can help relieve them with their dry needling technique.
During a session, your therapist will first take you through a series of exercises designed to find your trigger points. They will also perform a comprehensive assessment of your medical history and symptoms.
What is the goal of Trigger Point Therapy?
The goal of trigger point therapy is to release tense, painful knots in your muscles and fascia (the web of connective tissue). This may help alleviate pain, increase energy, improve circulation and reduce stress.
Trigger points form in skeletal muscle areas that become stiff or tight over time, which can cause problems like back pain, shoulder pain and headaches. They can also make it difficult to move freely and perform daily activities.
Therapists treat these sore spots by applying pressure to the tense and tender area, which can ease pain. They use various techniques including massage, acupressure, electrical stimulation and dry needling to help relieve pain.
What are the risks of Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots that occur in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders, including fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, neck pain, tension headache and temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ).
The muscles within trigger points are stiff, sore and tender. They also have decreased oxygenated blood and lymphatic flow to the area, which can contribute to localized stiffness and discomfort.
A health care provider may inject a local anesthetic, corticosteroid, or botulinum toxin into the trigger point to decrease pain. These injections are safe and can be performed in a doctor’s office without sedation.
What are the benefits of Trigger Point Therapy?
Trigger points are knots of tight muscle tissue that can cause pain and inflammation. They occur when muscles become overworked or injured, and are typically located in the fascia, a widespread, sheath-like fibrous tissue that encases musculoskeletal structures.
When trigger points form, the resulting knot restricts blood flow to muscles, effectively starving them of oxygen and nutrients needed for normal healing and repair. This results in a muscle that is in a state of metabolic crisis and leads to pain and stiffness.
A licensed massage therapist or physical therapist can detect and treat trigger points by applying manual pressure to the knotted tissue. They also use dry needling, a technique that uses needles to target trigger points.