What is Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)?
Trigger point dry needling is treatment used to effectively treat muscular tension and spasm which commonly arise from injuries, joint dysfunction or chronic conditions like arthritis and disc disease. It is called “Dry” Needling because there is no solution injected with it like would typically see with a traditional medicinal shot. Unlike traditional “shots” with hypodermic needles TDN uses a thin sterile mono-filament dry needle that is not typically painful to have inserted.
How does it work?
When an injury occurs from repetitive use or acute trauma, inflammation will be produced from the damaged tissues. These damaged tissues can form painful tender points in them known as trigger points. These trigger points prevent new blood flow to the damaged tissues which prevents them from healing and the waste products from inflammation from leaving the injury. This can also limit the muscles ability to fully function (lengthen/shorten) and becoming weak which inevitably will lead to biomechanical disturbances in gait and function.
After we locate and identify a trigger point we insert a thin sterile solid filament needle is into the painful knotted muscle to create a local twitch reflex which is both diagnostic and therapeutic This twitch response will decrease muscle contraction, reduce chemical irritation, improve flexibility and decrease pain. When a needle is inserted into muscle it will also produce new blood flow to the muscle resulting in an inflammatory reaction that your body will respond to and restart the healing process.
Is Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture?
No, 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. Traditional acupuncture is uses solid filament needles at points on the body to affect energy fields the body produces. TDN uses the same solid filament needle inserted into a trigger point to effectively relieve the trigger point and myofascial tissue. Dr, Lyons was trained in TPDN through Midwest Rehabilitation Institute in Sports Trigger Point Dry Needling which only teaches dry needling based on Western scientific principles.
What Types of Conditions Can TDN be used to treat?
- Neck/Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Hip and Gluteal Pain
- Knee Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
- Chronic Pain
- Athletic Performance
Does TDN hurt?
You may or may not feel the insertion of the needle. The specific needle manipulation is intended to produce a local twitch response that can elicit a very brief (less than a second) painful response some patients describe as a deep ache or cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of the local twitch response and is a desirable reaction.
What can I do to prepare for my therapy?
Eat a light meal 1-2 hours prior to your visit and wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be rolled up or down to access your areas of concern with the greatest ease.
What can I expect?
We are looking to get improvements even from the first visit such as increased range of motion, ease of movement and decreased signs/symptoms. There is typically a noticeable decrease in trigger point pain immediately following the procedure. Typical therapy session are 15 minutes and usually require only 1-3 sessions.
Some patients report being sore after the treatment in both the area treated and the area of referred symptoms. Typically this soreness lasts between a few hours and two days and there is occasional bruising. Soreness may be alleviated by applying ice or heat to the area and performing specific stretches for the treated muscle.
Watch Dr. Lyons Demonstrate Trigger Point Dry Needling
Is it Safe?
Yes, there is very little risk involved with TDN. Needling can produce minor bleeding and some soreness, but in trained hands, and with the use of sterile needles and gloves it is a very safe procedure that creates very little pain. In rare cases, deep needling can lead to a punctured lung or injuries to nerves and blood vessels but Dr Lyons is also a licensed Chiropractic Physician with extensive training in human anatomy and dry needling techniques so the risks are extremely low.