Relieving Pain With Trigger Point Dry Needling

Dry Needling Pain Injury Therapydia

The problem with feeling pain because of an injury is that it has the potential to creep back into your life again. Unless pain is resolved at the source, the same injury may be getting triggered because of your daily habits. Most general areas of tenderness and irritability in your muscles are called latent myofascial trigger points. Almost everyone has these latent trigger points or knots in their muscles, but they don’t normally cause you any issues until they become active. Once a trigger point becomes active, it’ll cause you pain and start limiting the way you move. Whether or not you will develop an active trigger point depends on your posture, daily body mechanics, repetitive movements, or nerve irritation.

Latent Versus Active Triggers

The longer you leave a latent point of tenderness untreated it could cause long-term damage and stress to your muscle. Unless you press on a latent point and feel tenderness, you probably wouldn’t even notice that they were there. Any type of sudden trauma or repeated injuries to any muscles could cause a trigger point to start forming. Even spending a lot of time sitting at the office in the same position could cause these points of tenderness to start forming around your neck and along your back. Later on, this continued stress could cause you to start feeling pain and discomfort in those strained parts of your muscles.

Getting To The Point

The goal of getting rid of latent trigger points is to keep active and painful trigger points from developing in the future. Having irritable and hypersensitive sections of muscle can put you at risk for further sudden injuries, chronic pain, and poor muscle strength. Dry needling comes into play when you consider treatment for these points in your muscles. You can begin the prevention process by going to a certified physical therapist who specializes in dry needling. Dry needling is a form of physical therapy that involves inserting a thin needle through the skin and into the muscle. Physical therapists can assess which parts of your body have developed any latent trigger points by palpating the muscles and locating the knots. They can determine how these trigger points are affecting the mechanics of that area of your body. That way, they’ll know exactly which areas they need to needle in that surrounding area.

When a muscle is directly needled, the stimulation from the needle causes the muscle to have a twitch response. The trigger point in the muscle responds biochemically to the contact with the needle and releases tension quickly. Afterwards, your muscle begins to contract and relax the way a healthy muscle should instead of being constantly tense and irritated. Whether or not your latent or active trigger points are being needled determines how much discomfort you’ll feel during your session. You’ll feel some soreness in the area that was needled 24 to 48 hours post-needling.

Fighting Trigger Point Activation

The only way to avoid the pain, stiffness, and restriction of movement that active trigger points cause is to treat latent areas of muscle irritation. Trigger points can be found in any muscles and be caused by any type of sudden injuries or repetitive movements. Once your muscle begins to enter into a state of constant contraction, it’s hard to break out of that cycle. Physical therapists can use dry needling to quickly release muscle tension in many areas. Depending on your injury, you may need to use dry needling to complement manual therapy and guided exercise programs. Call Therapydia Denver if you have any questions about preventive dry needling or whether this treatment would be beneficial for you and your lifestyle.

Dry Needling Relieves Headache Pain & Tension

Therapydia Pain Relief Dry Needling Treatment

Many of us know that sitting and having good posture have become a part of our daily lives. Sitting in the same static position on a daily basis can cause a lot of problems with your posture that can eventually cause pain in unexpected locations. Headaches can be caused by issues that aren’t actually in your head. A cervicogenic headache is caused by shortening of muscles in and around your neck and at the base of the skull. Tight muscles can develop painful knots called trigger points and these trigger points can refer pain up from your neck to different parts of your head. Dry needling comes into play as a method of treatment for headaches by releasing tension in those tightened neck muscles and trigger points. Once you loosen those chronically tense neck muscles, you’ll be able to work on getting out of your poor posture and movement habits.

The Tension Around Your Head

Dry Needling Treatment Headache

This type of tightness in your neck muscles usually happens because of incorrect posture patterns. Many of us tend to hold a lot of tension up around the shoulder and neck muscles. This could be due to a lot of different aspects of our daily lives. Tension could result from:

• General stress and muscle fatigue
• Overall poor posture
• Constantly sitting at poorly designed work stations
• Carrying heavy items
• Using a shoulder strap for heavy bag
• Prolonged sitting in car seats while driving

Once you have that shortening of the muscles, your neck shifts into a forward head posture. The pulling at the base of the skull and in the neck is what causes the pain to extend up and around your head. The pain can also refer to different places around your head, like behind your eyes and around your temples. Taking painkillers like NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) will help with pain levels, but they won’t ultimately solve the source of the issue. The goal with trigger point dry needling treatment is to release tension in those muscles, restore muscle length, and ultimately decrease pain.

Treating Your Triggers

Dry needling acts as an effective treatment option because it allows tension to be released from the muscles in your neck. Since certain types of tension headaches are caused by muscular issues, they can be solved by directly treating those restrictions. A certified physical therapist can palpate the base of your skull, neck, and upper spine to look for knots in the muscle called active trigger points. Trigger points are tight areas of your muscle that are usually caused by trauma or repeated strain. Once the needle makes contact with those trigger points, they’ll cause a twitch response, or a small contraction. Contact with the needle causes an actual chemical change inside the muscle that releases tension, increases blood flow, and heals the issue. You’ll be getting rid of the trigger points that are causing tightness in your neck while also solving the source of your headaches.

Moving Back Into Alignment

Once those muscles are released, you’re also giving your body the chance to start moving back into correct spinal alignment. Extended periods of sitting or poor postural habits in general might have thrown all the muscles in your neck and upper back out of sync. Some may be too tight and others too stretched out and lengthened. After needling, you’ll able to bring the muscles along your upper spine into their proper ranges of motion. You’ll be able to move your head and shoulders back into the positions they’re supposed to be in. Without treating the restrictions around our neck and upper spine, you won’t be able to improve your posture.

Healing The Source Of Your Headaches

Using dry needling as a treatment method for muscular-based headaches will release the tension at the source of the pain. The goal with dry needling is to decrease the intensity as well as the frequency of your headaches. For example, if you’re used to experiencing a headache for the entire day you might start having a headache for only a few hours a day. After a few more sessions, you may not feel any pain around your head at all. Once you have the necessary range of motion you need around your neck and upper spine, you’ll be preventing any future headaches from happening. Consider dry needling for your headaches by getting rid of them in the present as well as healing the muscles to prevent the issue from happening in the future. If you have any questions about whether or not the headaches you’re experiencing can be treated with dry needling, call us at Therapydia Denver.