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Effective Approach to Trigger Point Needling/ Injection: Enhancing Patient Well-being

Updated: Dec 22, 2023




In the realm of holistic health and pain management, trigger point needling/ injection has emerged as a valuable therapeutic technique. With its origins from Acupuncture, this minimally invasive procedure, also known as dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS), targets muscular trigger points—knots or tight bands in muscles that can cause pain, limited mobility, and discomfort.Then we take this trigger point needling/ injection to next level with a guidance of Dr Masa. The most effective approach is when we make sure to elicit the Localized Twitch Response (LTR) with trigger point needling/ injection and occasionally we use musculoskeletal guided ultrasound on some muscle groups. Many of our patients have received dry needling or IMG or trigger point injection; however, most of them have never experienced a LTR nor never had musculoskeletal guided ultrasound during the procedure. We have seen that our approach brings a better outcome. The practice involves the insertion of fine needles into these specific points to alleviate pain and improve overall bodily function by creating LTR with manipulation of needle. Then in severe cases, we inject local anaesthetics to reset neuromuscular system.


Understanding Trigger Points

Trigger points are hyperirritable spots within a taut band of skeletal muscle fibers. These points often develop due to factors like overuse, poor posture, stress, injuries, or underlying health conditions. When activated, they can cause referred pain, meaning discomfort may be felt in a different area from where the trigger point is located.


The Procedure

Trigger point needling aims to release these tense areas and restore muscle function. During the procedure, a trained healthcare professional such as a Naturopathic Physician or Acupuncturist—employs sterile, thin needles to penetrate the skin, targeting the identified trigger points. The insertion of the needles initiates a Localized Twitch Response (LTR) in the muscle, leading to relaxation and improved blood flow. If it is necessary, then we inject anaesthetics.


Benefits for Patients

Pain Relief:

One of the primary benefits of trigger point needling/ injection is its ability to provide relief from chronic and acute pain. By deactivating trigger points, patients often experience reduced discomfort and improved range of motion in the affected areas.

Enhanced Muscle Function:

Muscles affected by trigger points can become weakened or dysfunctional. Through needling, these points are released, allowing muscles to regain strength and functionality, aiding in overall movement and performance.

Improved Circulation:

The insertion of needles/ injection into trigger points stimulates blood flow to the affected areas. Enhanced circulation helps in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients, promoting healing and tissue repair.

Complement to Other Therapies:

Trigger point needling/ injection can complement other therapeutic modalities, such as myofascial release or spinal manipulation, enhancing their effectiveness in managing pain and promoting recovery.

Holistic Approach:

It embraces a holistic approach to healing by addressing the root cause of pain rather than solely focusing on symptom management. By targeting trigger points, practitioners aim to resolve underlying musculoskeletal issues. And at same time we look at possible link with physical/ musculosketetal issues with emotional or mental aspect of the body and integrate the care with CranioSacral, visceral/ spinal/ extremities manipulation, and necessary assessment and management with laboratory testing or symptom chart.


Conclusion

Trigger point needling/ injection stands as a promising treatment modality for individuals seeking relief from muscular pain and dysfunction. While its benefits are numerous, it's essential to undergo this procedure under the guidance of a qualified professional to ensure safety and efficacy. As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, trigger point needling/ injection can significantly contribute to improving the quality of life for many patients dealing with muscular discomfort and pain.


If you are curious about how trigger point needling can benefit your health, please contact myself, Dr. Tom Hatch at seattlencc@gmail.com, call (206) 708-1212, or visit our clinic’s website at seattlencc@gmail.com

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