At times I integrate dry needling into the physical therapy treatment process. Dry needling also known as medical acupuncture is an effective needling technique that resets the nervous system through the deactivation of trigger points, leading to the resolution of pain and dysfunction.
A very fine, sterile, disposable needle is inserted into points along a muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve pathway in order to stimulate a healing response.
Trigger points are overactive areas of muscle and fascia, a tough connective tissue that wraps around most of the structures of the human body. Dry needling eliminates trigger points in tight muscle bands found in many acute injuries and stimulates the healing in chronic injuries. When this happens, pain relieving endorphins are released. In the case of chronic tendon conditions such as such as tennis/golfers elbow or achilles tendonitis, the needle is inserted directly into the injured tendon stimulating an inflammatory response around the tendon so as to promote the healing process.
Neck and shoulder discomfort can be due to stress, poor posture caused by computer work, texting too much and overuse. Trigger points (knots) commonly develop in a muscles known as the upper trapezius. This tension can lead to problems like tension headaches, shoulder and upper back pain, and symptoms that radiate down the arm. Very fine sterile needles are inserted into the taut band/trigger points within the muscles until a “twitch response” is achieved. Twitch responses normally results in a reflex relaxation and lengthening of the muscle which results in the tight area relaxing.