Trigger Point Dry Needling

We are able to find and treat trigger points that are often the root cause of the pain. We do this by using very thin needles that are sterile, disposable, and do not contain any medicine. They are as thin as straight pins. There is nothing injected into your body. When a needle is inserted into a trigger point, neurochemical changes occur that cause a small portion of the muscle to twitch. Getting this local “twitch response” stimulates the muscle to move in a more normal movement pattern. The twitch response is the first step needed to break the pain cycle. Dry needling treatments can be an excellent alternative to using medicines such as opioids and muscle relaxers in the treatment of chronic pain.

The local twitch response can cause a very brief (less than a second) uncomfortable or painful response. Some patients describe the twitch response as a tiny electric shock or a weird cramping sensation.

So what is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling? Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine with a pain pattern that follows meridian lines that relate to different organs in the body. Dry needling is based on trigger points within muscles that cause referred pain in predictable patterns throughout the body. The needles used in both treatments are essentially the same. However, with acupuncture, the needles are placed very shallowly under the skin (subcutaneously). With dry needling, the needles are placed deeper and actually go into the muscle.