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Trigger Point Dry Needling

Trigger point dry needling (TPDN), also known as Intramuscular Manual Therapy, involves inserting a thin solid monofilament needle directly into a muscle at the myofascial trigger point, or what is commonly known as muscle knots. This causes a local twitch response, in which the muscle fibers contract. This results in relaxation of the muscle and release of the shortened muscle fibers. As a result, there is an increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery to the involved area, eliminating pain producing chemicals. TPDN can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems where myofascial trigger points may contribute to the pain. Such conditions include, but are not limited to: back, neck and shoulder pain, decreased range of motion, rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome), headaches, jaw pain, and leg pain, bursitis, sciatica, hamstring strains, calf tightness and cramping. TPDN has also been found to be extremely helpful in the treatment of chronic pain and movement disorders.

At Strive Physical Therapy & Fitness, many patients have benefited from dry needling treatment. We provide one on one service with focus on hands on treatment. Dry needling treatment is usually given in conjunction with other forms of physical therapy treatment. These may include exercises, postural training, education, and other hands-on techniques such as soft tissue work and manipulation. Our therapists have completed additional and extensive course study and have obtained the certification required by the state of NC to practice the advanced skill of dry needling.


Q. How does dry needling work?
A. The exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known. Inserting a needle into trigger points cause favorable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit so-called local twitch responses to break the pain cycle.

Q. Is the procedure painful?
A. The local twitch response elicits a very brief painful response. Local twitch responses are essential to relaxation of the muscle and improving pain. Most patients report soreness over the treated area between a few hours and two days, but their overall pain level may be decreased.

Q. How long does it take for the procedure to work?
A. It may take several visits to experience changes in pain and function due to the fact that we are trying to cause mechanical and biomechanical changes without any pharmacological means.