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.

Skilled acupuncturists insert very thin filiform needles 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 an immediate increase in range of motion.

COULD YOU BENEFIT FROM 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 cause 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 IT HELP WITH?

IS 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.

The most common side effects around the injection site include:

  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • temporary soreness

If non-sterile needles are used, you may be at risk for contracting blood-borne illnesses, infection, and diseases. You must ensure your SF acupuncturist uses sterile needles and disposes of them after each use.

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. Dry needling is intended to unwind tight muscles and relieve muscle pain. These skilled providers believe that strategically working a needle into a pressure point will release tension in the surrounding musculature.

So, if you live or work near the San Francisco Telegraph Hill – North Beach – Financial District and feel you would be a good candidate for our trigger point dry needling treatments, we would love to meet you. To schedule an appointment with our San Francisco Acupuncturist, please call 415–421–1115 or book an appointment online.


  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Car Accident Injuries – Whiplash
  • Sports Injuries
  • Trigger Points – Muscle Knots
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • And several other conditions

Dry Needling is used to help restore normalcy to the body.

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  • First Appointment 40 min.
  • All Other Appointments 20 min.
  • First Visit Includes Consult/Examination/1st Treatment
  • Discussion of Procedure, pre and post
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Age
  • High Dose Ant-Coagulants
  • Immune-suppressed
  • local infection
  • Specific areas of body
  • Implants in body
  • Over pacemakers/Nerve Stimulators

Dry needling use achieves a variety of effects, including:

  • Decrease Pain
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Decrease Accumulated Tension in Muscles
  • Restore Normal pH to an Area
  • Decrease Local Inflammatory Chemicals
  • Helps Reset Normal Resting Muscle Tone
  • Inhibit or Facilitate Muscles