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Trigger point dry needling is a treatment involving the insertion of a needle into a trigger point in a muscle. A trigger point is an area of tightness in a muscle that is tender when pressure is put on it. Trigger points can be a source of pain and can commonly refer pain to different areas, each muscle has its own referral pattern. The infraspinatus muscle at the back of the shoulder, for example, will commonly refer pain to the outside of the arm and into the wrist.
Trigger point dry needling can be very helpful for those experiencing myofascial pain from trigger points. When the needle is inserted into the trigger point the muscle will undergo a localised contraction known as a ‘twitch’. This twitch is important for getting therapeutic benefit from dry needling. Many conditions can benefit from trigger point dry needling. These include:
When used to treat these and other conditions, dry needling can have many benefits. These include
Trigger point dry needling works best as part of a physiotherapy approach that can include manual therapy, ergonomic advice and exercise.