As is true with many things in life, there may be more contributing to your pain than meets the eye. In fact, the point of pain may not be the source. Muscles throughout the body can create myofascial trigger points, often referred to as “knots.” These palpable tender spots are a group of muscle fibers that maintain a semi-contracted state for too long. The fascia, which is a non- contractile tissue, covers nearly every muscle fiber, can also be a part of this point restriction. These restrictions can be very tender to touch and can have a greater influence on how the entire muscle activates. Through years of research, medical professionals have been able to map common referral patterns for each muscle.1
Dry needling is an innovative treatment technique performed by a licensed physical therapist to help reduce or heal pain symptoms. This technique has many useful applications ranging from soft tissue involvement to nerve irritation. In general, it is primarily used to target trigger points (sensitive spots in soft tissue) and reduce tension of taut muscles.
You may have heard of (or saw pictures of) dry needling before. A common question for those unfamiliar with this treatment is, “does it hurt?”
The answer is yes and no; let me go into some detail of why:
Have you ever had a patient who sustained a work-related injury with subjective report of radicular symptoms? A patient involved in a motor vehicle accident with report of symptoms radiating down the arm? A lower back injury, with the patient reporting symptoms down into their glutes? AND ALL IMAGING IS NEGATIVE????
From indoor tracks and treadmills, endurance athletes and amateur runners are taking to the beautiful outdoors. As activity levels increase and miles add up, runners may experience pain, weakness, or fatigue, limiting their workout. Whatever the reason, runners can find themselves hitting a wall or plateauing throughout training. Many times symptoms are ignored and athletes push through. With that said, there are effective treatment options that can occur as training continues. One effective treatment for endurance athletes is trigger point dry needling.