Trigger points are areas of hyperactive muscle or tissue that generate inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals cause pain and tightness in muscles, which may irritate nerve endings and decrease range of motion in nearby joints enough to limit normal activities.
Dry needling to trigger points has been shown to decrease nerve irritation and reduce (or completely eliminate) the irritating chemicals from an active trigger point. This release can immediately improve range of motion, decrease pain and improve function. Patients often feel a significant improvement of their symptoms immediately after the treatment. Trigger point dry needling can facilitate a return to strengthening exercises that result in a faster return to function.
The dry needling procedure involves placing a very thin, single-use disposable sterile solid filament needle (not hollow) with sterile technique into a trigger point. The number of needles used during any individual visit and the number of visits depend on many factors that differ from patient to patient.