A trigger point is a localized area (palpable nodule) of extreme tenderness found within a muscle. The area of tenderness is caused by a heightened state of muscle activity that results in a small sustained muscle contraction. After a prolonged period of time, a taut band develops that will not relax volitionally. Trigger points are referred to as “active” when they cause noticeable pain without provocation, while “latent” trigger points elicit pain only when manipulated by the therapist.
Headaches, migraines, back pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, musculoskeletal pain not responding to other soft tissue therapies or patient who wish to recover or return to sports as quick as possible..
Dry needling involves solid filament needles (similar to those used in acupuncture), which are placed into the trigger point to produce a local twitch response (LTR). The needles are very thin and rarely felt entering the skin. The LTR is therapeutically essential for treatment, because it is followed by a period of reflexive relaxation of the muscle. When a person experiences a LTR, they will often feel a cramping sensation or discomfort in the referral pattern of the muscle lasting a few seconds. Studies have also shown that when the increased tension in a trigger point is resolved, other trigger points within the pain referral zone may resolve as well.