Trigger Point Dry Needling

What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?


Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN), also known as Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT), is a technique used by physical therapists to treat myofascial pain and facilitate an accelerated healing response by eliminating the neuromuscular dysfunction which leads to pain and functional deficit. It is called dry needling because the technique is done without the use of medications. TDN has been shown to produce chronic pain relief in 87% of sites needled. Results of intramuscular manual therapy include a decrease in subjective complaints, increased range of motion, a reduction in the need for medication, and decreased stiffness.

There is no need for the use of medications.

How does TDN work?


TDN involves use of a solid, thin filament needle, inserted into the muscle, to locate and deactivate a “trigger point”. A trigger point (taut band of muscles) can be tender to the touch and refer pain to other parts of the body. TDN deactivates and desensitizes the trigger point, which stimulates a healing response and reduces the biomechanical stress of the muscle treated.

  • Pain control
  • Restores motion and function
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Desensitizes supersensitive structures
  • Decreases the need for medications
  • Promotes healing response in tissue
  • Normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor end plates
  • Accelerates return to active rehabilitation
  • Return to sport and activity faster
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Headaches
  • Hip/Knee Pain
  • Shoulder/Arm Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
  • Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ)
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Tendinitis/Tendinosis
  • Chronic Pain

Dry needling for the treatment of myofascial (muscular) trigger points is based on theories similar, but not exclusive, to traditional acupuncture; however, dry needling targets the trigger points, which is the direct and palpable source of patient pain, rather than the traditional “meridians”, accessed via acupuncture.




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