Trigger point dry needling

Muscle pain affects an astonishing 85% of the general population at some time. That means almost everyone will experience pain, loss of movement, poor sleep and be made to feel generally miserable by muscle pain.

But don’t think that because you don’t exercise you will be in that exclusive 15%. No, the perpetuating factors to muscle pain are some of the most common daily habits we humans demonstrate.

  • Mental and emotional stress.
  • Alcohol Consumption.
  • Caffeine consumption.
  • Poor diet.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Poor posture and alignment.

So if someone works hard (stress), drinks when they get home to reward themselves (alcohol), has trouble getting 8 hours sleep (sleep deprivation) and then perks themselves up with an espresso (caffeine) they have just ticked four of the six contributing factors above. Do you know anyone like that? Chances are we do, and chances are we ARE that person.

Found to be one of-if not the-most common factor in muscle pain, trigger points are active in the people who experience muscle pain. If you’re not sure what a trigger point is, it’s that tight bit of muscle on your shoulders that get sore when someone massages or squeezes them. An easy one to find is the one in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. Go on, give it a squeeze right now! That’s a trigger point.

When you repeat the scenario highlighted just a couple of sentences ago over and over, those trigger points are stimulated further as the muscles chemical and physical structure start to change. The way to think about a trigger point in a muscle is to think about your phone. Bear with me…….

Think about all the data your phone uses. At the beginning when you get your new phone, it has few features being used, less apps’ and few downloads. Slowly, the more app’s, downloads, images and data you have on your phone the slower it starts to function.

Muscles work in a similar way. Generally they are fine, but as we start place more demand on them they start to slow down. They become less efficient at what they do and become less effective in their output.

So what does trigger point dry needling do? Well, in simple terms it’s the muscles equivalent of putting your phone back to ‘factory’ settings or to think of it another way, it’s like re-booting your computer.

The big question I’m asked is “what’s the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?” Good question.

The difference in practical terms is, not a lot.  You stick a needle in, you get a response. The main difference I guess is the origins of each modality. One is Chinese in origin, the other is a more western approach. But for me, the big difference is treatment time. Segmental Chinese acupuncture can involve leaving the needle in the skin for twenty to thirty minutes. Dry needling can be as short as 45 seconds. Big, big difference. And the response? Instantaneous. Pain free and back to function in 45 seconds. Who’s going to argue with that?

Like acupuncture, dry needling can be done all over the body and alleviates muscle pain, increases strength, releases endorphins (makes you feel great) and improves joint movements.

Mold physiotherapy has recently introduced dry needling to its already comprehensive list of treatment options. If you feel dry needling could help you contact me today, paul@moldphysiotherapy.co.nz

Thanks for your time!

Paul.

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