What are Trigger-Points?
Trigger points, often a component of myofascial pain syndrome, are irritable, hard “knots” within a muscle that may cause and radiate pain to other areas. A trigger point is an indication that the body has experienced some form of physiological dysfunction, such as poor posture, repetitive mechanical stress, a mechanical imbalance such as legs of different lengths, or acute trauma. A unique feature of trigger points is that they almost always refer pain to other areas of the body.
Trigger points are part of a protective mechanism of your body, an important defense reflex that keeps your body safe. Problems occur when the reflex misfires or doesn’t switch off – causing ongoing pain and stiffness.
What is Trigger-Point Therapy?
Trigger point therapy is a technique in which trigger points are located and manipulated to reduce the pain and “deactivate” the point. This technique is sometimes also called myofascial trigger point therapy. (Myo means muscle tissue, and fascia is the connective tissue in and around it). Myofascial pain syndrome, or trigger points, can be a source of pain and limit function.
Dry needling is a specialized treatment for trigger points, which consists of a very thin needle that is pushed through the skin to stimulate the trigger points, muscles, or connecting tissues. Common locations for these problems are the arm and neck. Dry needling may release the tight muscle bands and decrease pain. It is one possible treatment option, usually in conjunction with determining range of motion, stretching, exercise, posture correction—to manage myofascial pain.
Dr Baradhi will perform a thorough evaluation to help determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment as part of a unique programme designed to reduce your pain and improve your function.
What can Trigger-Point Therapy do?
Trigger point therapy can reduce pain, increase movement, and allow the muscles to soften, lengthen, and become stronger.
Dry Needling of muscular trigger points causes relaxation through disruption of the motor endplate. The tiny injuries created by the needle insertion cause a local healing response in the dysfunctional, painful tissue, which restores normal function through the natural healing process. Dry Needling stimulates neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system.
Dry Needling, combined with osteopathy, has been shown to help those the following conditions:
Acute and chronic tendonitis
Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
Chronic pain conditions
Headaches and whiplash
Lower back pain
How does it compare to Acupuncture?
Dry Needling is a western form of “Acupuncture” and this treatment has been described using many names. Dry Needling is the most current term. Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture needling treatment occurs along the meridian system. Modern Dry Needling is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Volumes of research have been written on the subject of Dry Needling by several physicians (Janet Travell, MD, David Simons, MD, Peter Baldry, MD, and Karel Lewit, MD).
Dry Needling is performed by Western Medical Practitioners using Acupuncture-type needles to treat the musculoskeletal and nervous systems based on modern neuroanatomy science. It would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of Dry Needling as an “Acupuncturist” since Dry Needling practitioners do not use traditional meridians (meridians are based on a 2000 year old practice).