Trigger point dry needling also called intramuscular stimulation, is an invasive procedure in which a special thin needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. As the name implies, dry needling is directed at myofascial trigger points, which are defined as ‘ hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band ’.
Dry Needling is an effective therapy to treat muscle pain, tension and spasm which are commonly caused by overuse, repetitive strains, bad posture, nerve irritation or ligament strains. Needle is inserted in a contracted painful muscle to create a local twitch reflex, which is a first step in breaking the pain cycle by decreasing muscle contraction, reducing chemical irritation, improving flexibility and decreasing pain.
What is a trigger point?
Trigger point is a palpable nodule within a taut band of a muscle. It can cause all kinds of sensation; from pain to burning, tingling, weakness and decreased muscle function and flexibility.
Sometimes a trigger points can cause ‘referred pain’ which means that it can be felt not only where they are but in a completely different place in thee body.
Who can benefit from Dry Needling?
Almost anyone experiencing a variety of painful conditions including but not limited to:
- Acute/ Chronic Injuries
- Neck/Back Pain
- Muscle Spasm
- Hip/Knee Pain
- Muscle Strains
- Tenis/Golfers Elbow
- Frozen Shoulder
- Carpal Tunnel, etc.
What can be expected after dry needling treatment?
Most people get relief from first treatment, however in some cases it may take few treatments before you will feel significant change. Many patients report being sore after Dry needling, typically this soreness lasts between a few hours to two days.
There might be a little bruising around the needle site, the same as with any injection. Soreness can be alleviated by applying ice or heat pack to the area as well as performing specific stretches for the treated muscle as advised by your therapist.
Is there any risk of complications after Dry Needling treatment ?
In general, there is very little risk associated with this technique. However if you are treated in the shoulder, neck or chest there is a risk of lung puncture, which can lead to condition called Pneumothorax (air in the space around lung). This is very rare but serious complication and if it occurs, you should seek medical help immediately. The symptoms of Pneumothorax include shortness of breath, sudden sharp pain on inhalation, bluish tinge to your lips and a difficulty in ‘catching breath’.
On rare occasions people may feel very happy, tearful, sweaty or cold. These symptoms fade quickly. Very rarely fainting may also occur.
are there any Contraindication for dry needling?
There are some contraindications for the dry needling and these include:
- Acute Infection
- Blood Thinning