I am very excited by the results I have seen in patients that have been treated by trigger point dry needling (TPDN). TPDN is another form of myofascial release, muscle work, trigger point therapy in which we place a solid monofilament needle into the muscle to break up the adhesions and restriction in the muscle fascia.
Patients usually receive some type of muscle work on just about every visit in our office. We have many different techniques we offer whether it is deep tissue trigger point work with the massage therapist or more specific techniques we use such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) or active release techniques. We also give patient home instruction on soft tissue mobilization with foam rolling and use of a lacrosse ball. TPDN now gives us another option for treating sore tight muscles.
We are very happy with TPDN as our patients describe just how effective it is and how quickly it works. I had the same results from the technique after having it performed on myself and I realized just how fast it actually works. Typically, it will relieve trigger point pain with the first application. In addition, when used in conjunction with manipulation it enables muscles to relax in turn making manipulative therapy much more effective.
When it comes to getting into deeper muscles, which can have many layers to go through, I feel the technique can be more effective than traditional deep tissue massage. With deep tissue massage it is sometimes difficult to get the right amount of pressure on the trigger points to effectively treat them. Not to mention is can also be hard on my therapist who often have to use elbows and body weight to get deep enough. With TPDN we can effectively isolate the trigger point and accurately put a needle into it which will also cause less post treatment soreness due to less involvement with the surrounding healthy musculature.
In comparison to other types of myofascial release and deep tissue massage TPDN is really a painless technique. At worst the procedure is a little uncomfortable but not nearly as bad as deep tissue massage. While most of us have an anxiety over needles being inserted into us I can assure you this process is nothing like what you see from a typical medicinal shot.