Trigger Point Healing

A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple contraction knots which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.  Lisa uses a combination of manual trigger point pressure release and trigger point dry needling to fit your therapy needs.

Trigger Point Pressure Release

Manual trigger point pressure release involves applying pressure to the trigger point with a finger or other instrument.  The pressure is slowly increased as the trigger point "releases" and softens. 

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is an invasive procedure in which a solid filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle, directly at a trigger point.   The therapist manipulates the needle to produce a local twitch response (a spinal cord reflex in which the contracted muscle fibers briefly and involuntarily contract around the needle.

Does Dry Needling hurt?

Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe feeling a brief electrical shock; others experience more of a cramping sensation. The therapeutic benefit occurs when the local twitch response is felt and indicates a good and desirable reaction. Getting the local twitch response is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.

How does Dry Needling work?

The exact mechanisms of dry needling are not known, but appear to be both mechanical and biochemical in nature. Mechanical disruption of the contracted muscle fibers occurs with the insertion of the needle into the trigger point, allowing for improved blood flow and healing. The pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health show that inserting a needle into a trigger point also causes favorable biochemical changes which assists in the reduction of pain.

Are the needles sterile?

Yes, only sterile, disposable needles are used. What side effects can I expect after treatment? Most patients report being sore after a session of dry needling. The soreness is described as "muscle ache" over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. This response may last for several hours or several days. Application of heat or ice, as well as gentle stretching and activity modification is recommended during this period of time.

How long does it take for the procedure to work?

Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. Trigger point dry needling causes mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological input. The pain cycle is disrupted by the cumulative response of several sessions.

Is Dry Needling similar to acupuncture?

Dry needling should not be confused with acupuncture. The goal of dry needling is to inactivate trigger points. Inactivating trigger points results in pain relief and improved function. Unlike acupuncture, this technique is strictly based on Western medical principles and research. How often do I need to be treated? The musculoskeletal system is under constant pressure from gravity, stress and activities of daily living. A regular exercise program, combined with good posture can prevent many problems. If the pain returns, dry needling "tune-ups" are recommended.