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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 that 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.

Trigger points within these muscles have increased levels of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation while disrupting normal cellular functions. These trigger points also experience decreases in oxygen in these fibers. 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.

What to Expect During Treatment:

  • The physical therapists 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.
  • The needle is then removed.
  • The procedure lasts less than a minute.

After Treatment:

  • The physical therapists 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.

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