TRIGGER POINT DRY NEEDLING (TDN)

  • Dry needling, also known as myofascial trigger point dry needling, is the use of either solid filiform needles or hollow-core hypodermic needles for therapy of muscle pain, including pain related to myofascial pain syndrome.

  • Dry needling results in the deepest tissue release allowing for improvements in movement and pain. It is called “Dry” Needling because there is no solution injected as with a hypodermic needle during a flu shot. With Dry Needling, the needle itself and the effects it produces within the tissue is the treatment.

  • It is an effective therapy to treat muscular tension and spasm which commonly accompanies conditions such as arthritis, nerve irritation, muscular strain, ligament strains and herniated discs, ect.

Mechanical Effects

  • Dry Needling may mechanically disrupt a dysfunctional motor end plate

  • Needling results in a Local Twitch Response (LTR)

  • The LTR results in an alteration to muscle fiber length as well as having an inhibitory effect on antagonistic muscles

Neuropsychological Effects

  • Baldry (2001) suggests that dry needling techniques stimulate A-nerve fibers (group III) for as long as 72 hours post needling

  • Prolonged stimulation of the sensory afferent A-fibers may activate the enkephalinergic inhibitory dorsal horn interneurons, which implies that dry needling causes opioid mediated pain suppression

  • Another possible mechanism of dry needling is the activation of descending inhibitory systems which would block noxious stimulus into the dorsal horn

  • The LTR may also utilize the excessive ACh in the tissue which previously was triggering increased firing of localized fibers

Chemical Effects

  • Studies by Shah and colleagues (2001) demonstrated increased levels of various chemicals at sensitized motor end plates such as: Bradykinin, Substance P and CGRP (regulator of Calcium and Phosphate balance). These chemicals were reduced immediately post a LTR.

  • CGRP enhances the release of ACh from nerve terminals, which results in increased ACh receptors at the neuromuscular junction

  • Needle penetration will cause micro-trauma and micro bleeding (localized inflammation) and hence the introduction of PDGF into the area to help promote healing

How Does is Trigger Point Dry Needling Differ From Acupuncture?

  • Trigger Point Dry Needling is based on Western medical research and principles, whereas acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. The main similarity is that the same sterile, disposable solid filament needles are used. 

What Conditions are Treatable With TDN?

  • Neck/Back Pain

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Tennis/Golfers Elbow

  • Headaches

  • Hip and Gluteal Pain

  • Knee Pain

  • Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Sciatica

  • Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains

  • Chronic Pain

  • Athletic Performance

  • FDM

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