Dry Needling for Muscle Pain

trigger point therapy, dry needling

11 Feb Dry Needling for Muscle Pain

Have you ever felt a knot that just won’t go away? When inflammation happens, it can put your tissues in a contracted state. This can cause pain by limiting blood flow and forming scar tissue. However, dry needle therapy, also known as trigger point dry needling, can relieve pain when inserted into the muscle. Are you not familiar with dry needle therapy? Read more to find out what it’s all about. 

What are Knots?

Muscle knots are small, bump-like areas of muscle that can be painful to touch according to Medical News Today. In medical terminology, these are cold myofascial trigger points. These knots pop up when the bands of muscle tissue, called fascia, underneath them get tight and tense. 

These trigger points can be:

  • Active – these are consistently painful
  • Latent – these are only painful if pressed against

Unfortunately, the back and neck can be filled with these tight tension knots. Often times, these are what massage therapists try to target when you’re getting a massage. It didn’t take long for other areas of medicine to notice the effect that these trigger points have throughout the body. Now a days, we have what is called trigger point therapy. If you want to release pain throughout the body, we can help! A set of therapy sessions at Mile High Spine & Pain Center could make a big difference.

How Do These Knots Affect the Body? 

Recent research suggests that there are an estimated 620 points on the human body. Each of these points can develop into trigger points. These are located on all kinds of skeletal muscle tissue. When one become activated, it tenses up and becomes the knot that you can feel yourself. These knots can be painful, and can even compress nerves on points found in the neck or spine. When the nerves are blocked, this causes pain and inflammation. It can also come along with other symptoms, like tingling and numbness in arms or legs.

They become activated by muscle overload, anxiety, stress, or depression, injury, infection, poor posture, and even smoking. About 23 million people, 10 percent of the U.S. population, have one or more chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including trigger points according to American Family Physician

Is It Trigger Point Issues or Something Else? 

Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize or treat muscular disturbances like trigger points. Trigger point therapy is a common practice by chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and others of the like. It’s not uncommon for patients who have triggers point problems to be misdiagnosed and find no relief through the treatments originally offered.

How Does Trigger Point Therapy Work? 

We will start with imaging and other diagnostics to rule out serious issues like spinal misalignment, degenerative disorders, and herniated discs. Additionally, we will also physically examine you to look for the hard nodes. During the examination, if we do find trigger points, we can discuss the probability of other conditions causing your inflammation. If after we take a look we think you require any additional treatment, we will talk about that during your examination. 

We have a number of treatments offered to help make sure that your inflammation and pain goes away – and stays away. Our treatment are quick and effective. They include:

  • Myotherapy, which can involve deep tissue massage or a tapping pressure
  • Vibration exercises to relax tensed muscles all at once
  • Electrostimulation through a safe TENS unit
  • Massage therapy to work out the knots
  • Assisted and home stretching to improve muscle tone
  • Injections to help break down the scar tissue and heal the affected muscle

Dry Needle Therapy

Another breakthrough therapy we offer is dry needle therapy, which is also sometimes referred to as trigger point dry needling or intramuscular stimulation. Dry needle therapy is the practice of inserting and manipulating needs into the muscle that’s causing you pain. It’s similar to acupuncture, but they are different. 

Dry needle therapy helps muscular tension and spasms that accompany a handful of conditions, such as:

  • Arthritis 
  • Muscle and ligament strain 
  • Irritated nerves 

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Dry needle therapy uses a hypodermic needle, similar to needles that you get other medications or vaccinations with, but with no solution. When our tissues get hurt, the injury can trigger inflammation. This causes the muscles to contract and limit movement to protect itself from more injury. After time, blood flow is limited to the area, which contributes to the knots you feel, and limits movement and muscle function. 

With this therapy, a dry needle is put into the knotted muscle – the trigger point – causing a twitch reflex in response. This reflex causes the muscle to contract around the needle which breaks the pain cycle and improves function. The needle also stimulates an immune system reaction as cells will begin to heal the cut tissue. The infusion of blood and nutrients coming back to the muscle will help heal the injury. 

Does Dry Needling Hurt?

Many times, patients won’t feel the needle going in. However, the twitch response that promotes healing can cause a painful, but brief, sensation. If you twitch, you know the needle was inserted correctly. You’re likely be sore after dry needle therapy, but using heat or cold therapy will help with that. 

Fight Trigger Points with Mile High Spine & Pain Center

If you are hurting from trigger points, our team at Mile High Spine & Pain Center can come up with a treatment plan for you using dry needling. Call us today (720)-507-0080 to schedule an appointment.


Mile High Spine & Pain Center