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What to Expect...
The physical therapist will use an alcohol swab to clean the skin.
The physical therapist uses a thin, sterile acupuncture needle, which is 3-4 inches in length to penetrate the muscle and pinpoint the trigger point.
The needle is then removed.
The procedure lasts less than a minute.
The physical therapist may needle multiple trigger points within one treatment session. There may be minimal bleeding at the insertion site but resolves quickly.
The physical therapist may then stretch the structures that were needled before the patient gets off the table.
The patient may feel sore in the muscle that was treated.
The patient may continue to feel discomfort for a few days after the treatment.
What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?
Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) is a technique used by physical therapists in which a thin needle is inserted into an irritated muscle. TDN is a technique similar to acupuncture but focuses on muscles with hyperirritable segments called myofascial trigger points. These trigger points can be painful and can potentially cause stiffness and restricted motion resulting in dysfunction for patients. TDN is an effective and efficient method to release these irritated segments.
What can be treated with TDN?
How does TDN work?
Trigger points within these muscles have increased levels of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation while disrupting normal cellular functions. Trigger points also have diminished blood flow or ischemia causing soreness and abnormal muscle functioning. TDN causes a muscular twitch, resetting the chemical and acidic balance. The twitch response elicited by TDN also facilitates muscle fiber lengthening and pain modulation.
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