What is a Myofascial Trigger Point?
According to Travell and Simons, a Trigger Point is defined as a “…hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. The spot is tender when pressed, and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena..”
What this means is that a Trigger Point will present itself as a “knot” which is along a taut band, or a hard felt line along the skeletal muscle.
Neuromuscular Therapy Outlook on Trigger Points
Trigger Point Dry Needling is a treatment that addresses dysfunction of the Neuromuscular System, specifically influencing the fascia and Trigger Points. When muscles develop Trigger Points, they neurologically remain tight causing compression of vascular, neurological and joint/biomechanical structures; this hampers the normal function of that tissue.
What is Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling?
Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling involves the insertion of a filament needle into a target muscle directed specifically at a Myofascial Trigger Point. A primary aim of Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response, in turn reducing tension and pain. Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin and has been demonstrated to have very few side effects. This technique is unequalled in eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction of a Myofascial Trigger Point.
What is the difference between Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling and Acupuncture?
Traditional Acupuncture works on the understanding that there is an energy flow, the Qi, or Chi, in the body. It is believed by Acupuncture professionals that if there is a blockage in this energy flow, it can create problems. These problems could range from sinus infections to common flu. The idea behind Acupuncture is to attempt to clear these blockages, allowing for balance in the body.
Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling, on the other hand, deals exclusively with the neuromuscular aspect of a muscle. Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling relieves pain by inserting filament needles directly into trigger points within the muscle. Sometimes it is enough to insert the needle to within half an inch of the Trigger Point to release it. This causes a local twitch response, which signals that the Trigger Point has been released. Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling is a scientifically proven method used to relieve muscle pain, nerve pain and referral pain.
Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling is not the same as Acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, whereas Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and scientific research.
What does Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling feel like?
If the patient has active or latent Myofascial Trigger Points within a muscle, when the needle is inserted, it is usually accompanied by a sensation similar to that of a muscle cramp or a small twitch. At Vinny Mulvey Fitness, I usually palpate to find the Myofascial Trigger Point before needling. This can recreate the patient’s pain symptoms, which is a very useful diagnostic tool to find where the source of the pain is. I have found that patients can quickly learn to recognise, and often welcome the local twitch of the muscle (caused by the needle); they usually associate this feeling with healing.
What are the side effects of Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling?
The most common complaint after a needling session is usually muscle cramping and muscle soreness. These feelings usually subside after after 24 or 48 hours, along with the original pain experienced before the needling session.
Which injuries can Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling treat?
Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling can fix a variety of musculoskeletal problems. There are many conditions which can be treated, such as:
• Tennis elbow
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Muscle Spasms
• Knee Pain
• Buttock pain
• Frozen Shoulder
• Golfer’s elbow
• Leg pain
• Hamstring strains
• Shin splints
• Sciatic Pain
• Hip Pain
• Repetitive Strain Injuries