Trigger Point Dry Needling

andrew carter dry needling

  Andrew Carter, PT, DPT, ATC, performing Trigger Point Dry Needling technique.

Trigger Point Dry Needling (TrPDN) is a procedure in which a small mono-filament-sized needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. This procedure involves inserting the needle into irritable spots in the skeletal muscle, also known as a myofascial trigger point.

These trigger points in the skeletal muscle can be tender to palpation for many patients suffering from chronic and long-term pain. Trigger points can often develop as a result of damaged muscle fibers, either from acute or chronic overuse injuries. The end result is a lack of blood flow to the muscle, resulting in an increased production of pain-producing chemicals in the skeletal muscle.

blue ridge orthopedic physical therapy andrew carter dry needling close up

An example of the needle that is inserted.

During a normal TrPDN session, the needle is inserted directly into these trigger points, eliciting a local twitch response (LTR). Production of a LTR from the needle disentangles the taut bands in the skeletal muscle, thereby allowing them to resume a more appropriate resting length. This promotes an influx of chemical mediators into the taut band of the muscle or trigger point and helps to restore blood flow and decrease pain.

TrPDN is a safe and effective tool that is commonly used during a regular physical therapy session.

It is endorsed by the American Physical Therapist Association and has been proven through evidence-based practice to provide significant benefits to patients suffering from chronic pain.