What is Dry Needling? (TDN/Trigger Point Dry Needling)
Dry needling is a technique which utilizes a small filament needle to stimulate a myofascial trigger point, or a taut tender muscle, in order to deactivate and release the trigger point. This treatment often leads to decreased pain, increased range of motion, and improved efficiency of the treated muscle. Dry needling, which is a different procedure from acupuncture, has been shown to be a safe method for addressing trigger points.
A myofascial trigger point is characterized by a taut band of muscle that is tender with palpation. These trigger points can cause localized and referred pain, restrictions in mobility, and weakness within an affected muscle. There is decreased blood flow and oxygen saturation as well as increased acidity and concentration of inflammatory substances present within a trigger point compared to normal muscle tissue. It has been shown that several of these inflammatory substances decrease 5-10 minutes following dry needling treatment.
Is Trigger Point Dry Needling Acupuncture?
No, Trigger Point Dry Needling is based on Western medical research and principles, whereas acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. The main similarity is that the same sterile, disposable solid filament needles are used. Dr. Bollenbach was trained by Sue Falsone, founder of Structure and Function Education and former L.A. Dodgers head Athletic Trainer, to perform Dry Needling protocols that provide detailed and specific Dry Needling therapy customized to each patient and their presenting aches/pains.
What Types of Conditions Can Dry Needling Assist?
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Low Back Pain
- Hip and Gluteal Pain
- Knee Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
- Chronic Pain
- Athletic Performance
Does Dry Needling hurt?
You may or may not feel the insertion of the needle. The specific needle manipulation is intended to produce a local twitch response that can elicit a very brief (less than a second) painful response some patients describe as a deep ache or cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of the local twitch response and is a desirable reaction.
What can I do to prepare for my therapy?
Eat a light meal 1-2 hours prior to your visit and wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be rolled up or down to access your areas of concern with the greatest ease.
What can I expect after treatment?
We are looking to get improvements even from the first visit such as increased range of motion, ease of movement and decreased signs/symptoms.
Many patients report being sore after the treatment in both the area treated and the area of referred symptoms. Typically this soreness lasts between a few hours and two days and there is occasional bruising. Soreness may be alleviated by applying ice or heat to the area and performing specific stretches for the treated muscle.