What is Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)?

Trigger point dry needling is a technique used to reset the musculoskeletal system in order to relieve pain with lasting results. Very thin filiform needles are inserted into trigger points that elicit a reflex in the muscle in the form of a light twitch. Trigger points are tight or knotted sore muscles. As a result, the muscle lengthens and tension dissipates causing immediate increase in range of motion.

Could You Benefit From Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)?

Trigger point dry needling is a favorite among athletes. It is also for anyone who enjoys regular exercise but can’t due to pain or restricted movement. Sometimes you experience pain and restricted range of motion due to acute trauma, poor posture, or repetitive stress. This could point to certain muscles bearing more than their fair share of the work. Dry needling overworked muscles causes them to relax. It also allows for proper muscle group coordination and pain free activity.  The lengthening of muscles and restoration of proper functioning contributes to performance enhancement and injury prevention.

35 studies concluded that acupuncture and dry needling is more successful on long-term low back pain than a placebo treatment in a 2005 review. Researchers indicated that these techniques are most useful when combined with other therapies. However, future studies need to be conducted in order to learn more.

What Types of Conditions Can TDN Assist?

  • Neck/Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow
  • Tension Headaches
  • Hip and Gluteal Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis
  • Foot Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
  • Athletic Performance

Is Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) Safe?

The technique has been around for decades with low risk. While, acupuncture has been around for over two millennia. There are very small chances of adverse side effects. Adverse effects, if they occur, may include localized swelling and mild soreness which dissipates within hours to days. Icing will help curb the soreness.

Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) vs Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Dry Needling are similar in that they both use the same needles. However, the two are very different in their approach. Acupuncture is an ancient Eastern medicine modality that inserts needles into points along the body’s energetic meridian pathways. It is a holistic practice that addresses a wide variety of symptoms and pathology. Dry Needling was developed by Western medicine doctors in the 1950s and works with the musculoskeletal system.

by Hayley Jackson LAc


Also published on Medium.