Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy (DNTPT) is a unique treatment that amazes me every time I treat a patient. The result are outstanding! Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy is useful for chronic and acute pain effecting muscles, tendons, and joints. The most common symptoms that people complain about are tension headaches, shoulder injuries, back pain, IT band syndrome, hip pain, runner’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis.
Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy is done by using a small gauge acupuncture needle and inserting it into the trigger points. Trigger points are the area of the muscle that you may find by massaging or foam rolling the area. The difference between the later mentioned techniques and dry needling is that the dry needling releases the muscle immediately is a way that I have never seen massage or foam rolling to do. I can see the release and you, the patient, can feel the release right away. The best way I can describe it is like an eye twitch, but it is often in a much larger muscle group.
Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy helps the muscle if it is in pain from the trigger point because we can release that area right away. It helps the tendons because if there is a trigger point in the muscle, the muscle itself is shortened, thus pulling on the tendon. When the tendon is chronically stretched further than it should be, tendonitis results. DNTPT helps the joints because if the range of motion of the muscle is less than it should be, the joints cannot move properly.
The first treatment is an hour. I will go over your full history, do an assessment, and treatment. The follow up treatments are 30 minutes each, about 1-2 weeks apart. The number of treatments needed usually depends on how chronic or acute the injury is.
Some cases that I have helped with Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy are the following;
- Illiotibial Band Syndrome (ITB syndrome): This was acutally how I first learned about dry needling. I had ITB syndrome for 2 years to no avail when I used to run marathons. After one session, I immediately felt better (yes, I do this on myself!). I repeated the treatment about 3-4 more times in that month and my IT Bands no longer hurt when I ran. Today, about 10 years later, when I run, I still do not get the pain, and occasionally, if I do feel something, I release it and its all better.
- Shoulder pain: I had two cases back to back; one was a woman who could not get her sports bra off by herself, and the other was a man who could not get his jacket on and off. Both of their shoulders had such limited range of motion that they could not extend and abduct their shoulders. Both were able to have full range of motion after the treatment, ranging from 3-8 treatments or so. One was even able to cancel shoulder surgery!
- Lower Back Pain: I have treated dozens of cases of lower back pain, both chronic and acute. The lower back has a thick band of fascia protecting it and I have found that the gluteal muscles are often very tight pulling on that fascia. Once we release the glutes, the back pain is gone.
- Hip pain: Hip pain can be caused by several trigger points from the glutes, quads, IT band, and a smaller muscle right at the top of the ITB. I had a patient whom the neurologists were baffled by his pain because he had a herniated disc, but the area of pain did not correlate with the level of the disc. Once we worked on the hip area to release the trigger points, the pain went away.
The results from DNTPT are so exciting because it works when nothing else does!
If you have more questions about it, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the office at 203-548-0572.