Trigger Point Dry Needling

Chandler Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab is excited to offer trigger point dry needling as a valuable and effective treatment technique used in conjunction with manual therapy techniques and specific exercises to optimize patient outcomes. Trigger point dry needling, sometimes referred to as intramuscular manual therapy, is a skilled intervention by a physical therapist using a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular tissue, and connective tissues. A trigger point is a hyperirritable nodule located within a taut band of a muscle which often creates pain and dysfunction. Research indicates that dry needling targeting trigger points decreases muscle tension and pain, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction and accelerates return to normal activity. Common conditions that would benefit from Trigger Point Dry Needling are:

  • Tendonitis (golfers and tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis)
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Piriformis Syndrome
  • Shoulder (Rotator cuff strains, shoulder impingement, scapular dyskinesia)
  • Neck and lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • And many more….

Treatment Procedure
Prior to treatment, your physical therapist will perform a thorough biomechanical and dry-needling-trigger-pointsmusculoskeletal exam to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Following the identification of an active or hypersensitive trigger point, a very thin filiform needle will be inserted into the skin in order to locate the trigger point. Once the needle is located within the trigger point a local twitch response (LTR) will usually occur. This is an involuntary reflex which can feel like a deep aching or twitching sensation. Patients will often experience a dramatic relief in muscle tension and pain following treatment. We will make every effort to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

Side Effects/ Risks
The patient may have some bruising or soreness following treatment. This may last for 2-3 days but will often be followed with a decrease in pain, improved mobility and in most cases improved function. Similar to other physical therapy interventions, dry needling may need to be performed multiple times each week to gain maximal benefits. There is a slight risk of pneumothorax in areas over the lungs, however this is very unlikely. Your physical therapist will advise you of the signs and symptoms associated with a pneumothorax and how to seek appropriate medical treatment.

Is Functional Dry Needling Acupuncture?
No. Dry Needling is a skilled intervention performed by a licensed physical therapist to address dysfunctional trigger points. Your physical therapist at Chandler Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab has been through extensive training and has met the state requirements to practice dry needling in NC. Acupuncture is a broader field of practice that encompasses Eastern medicine consisting of acupuncture points, motor points, meridians, chi, etc. Reference: Wikepedia

If you are interested in Functional Dry Needling or any of our services provided at Chandler Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab, please call our office for further questions or to make an appointment.