Trigger Point Dry Needling / Intramuscular Stimulation In addition to being one of the most powerful techniques I use to treat physical limitations, trigger point dry needling (TDN) is amazing to experience. I can virtually guarantee you’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Even if you’ve had it done elsewhere.
TDN is as much an art as a science and the combination of the two create an incredibly powerful physical response. Because our tissues are under the command of our nervous system at all times, muscles may be told to stay tighter than they should. Or, muscles may be shut down that really need to be working to hold us upright. Snapping our bodies out of these dysfunctional patterns is where TDN really shines.
If our muscles are in a tight, weak, knotted, tense, or otherwise dysfunctional state, often what they need is some powerful encouragement to knock it off. TDN is like shutting down your computer when it freezes. You reboot, wait a bit, and when the computer comes back to life, it’s working like it should again. TDN uses a fine (acupuncture style) needle to target the parts of the muscle that need “rebooting”.
The needle causes a local trauma that stimulates a strong healing response in that part of the muscle. The muscle is bombarded with blood flow, an immune response (good cells in, bad cells out), and a message to either work harder or to chill out depending on it’s state. All this action is accompanied by a good amount of soreness in the 24-48 hours after the treatment.
TDN differs from other modalities in that it’s a feel sore now to feel better in a few days kind of therapy. Rather than feel better right away but have the pain return the next day, people often report feeling better and better up to 2 weeks after a session as the local trauma that’s created heals up.
The good news is that I’ll encourage you to stay active immediately after the session to get you the best outcome. No need to shut down your training just because you’re a little sore. In fact, the activity post TDN will give you an even better outcome.
My short list of must-dos after TDN include:
- Move, Move, and Move a little more – ride your bike to your appointment if you can or go swim afterward. At least get up from your chair and move often if you’re heading back to work.
- Use Heat – Yes heat not ice. We are trying to encourage blood flow, healing, and tissue health, not the opposite. We want local inflammation so you’re body will start healing an area that it had otherwise abandoned as “good enough”.
- Stay Hydrated – Critical to help the healing process by flushing out toxins and bringing new healing cells to the area
- Eat Quality Protein – rebuilding injured tissue with new, healthy tissue takes protein!
- Sleep – At least 8 hours per night so you’re body has the time to do it’s good healing.
Try TDN today. The post-treatment exhilaration that many people report will change your life!