Newsletter - Intramuscular Manual Therapy (Trigger Point Dry Needling)

Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT) otherwise known as Trigger Point Dry Needling is a treatment for relieving pain caused by muscular tightness and spasms which commonly follows injuries and often accompanies the degenerative processes. Combining the Intramuscular Manual Therapy techniques with other manual and rehabilitative methods has shown to be very effective in the treatment of chronic pain and speeding up the recovery time. IMT can help relieve pain associated with carpel tunnel, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis of various joints. The treatment is also effective with decreased mobility, chronic and acute pain syndromes.

How Intramuscular Manual Therapy Works

Intramuscular Manual Therapy utilizes a very thin filament needle. The needle used is similar to an acupuncture needle but this treatment is not considered acupuncture and is based on Western physiologic approaches. The needle is inserted into the trigger point and a local twitch response is ideally elicited. This twitch response is an involuntary contraction of the muscle that allows the muscle to relax. Sometimes electrical stimulation is applied to the needle to elicit these twitches to help the muscle relax as well. The theory behind dry needling is that it works by disrupting a reflex arc of contracted tissue as well as stimulating biochemical changes to allow improved blood flow and healing to the area.

What Are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are hyperirritable contraction knots found in tight bands of muscles. These points are usually associated with muscle tightness and pain. Trigger points can affect the local area of pain but also can refer to other parts of the body which can all effect strength, flexibility, and coordination of muscles.

What Does It Feel Like?

The filament needle is very different than the hypodermic needle you would see at a doctor’s office. A filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible vs. a hypodermic needle which is relatively thicker, hollow and has a blade tip. The filament pushes through the skin vs. cutting through the skin like a hypodermic needle would. The filament needles’ properties lend themselves to a much more comfortable entry. After the dry needling treatment, immediate improvement can be noted. However, soreness is usually accompanied, which can last on average 1-2 days, followed by relief of symptoms.

What Conditions Can Be Treated?

  • Neck and mid-back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Hamstring and lower back problems
  • Muscle tightness
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Sports injuries
  • Hand & Foot pain
  • TMJ

Many other pain related symptoms that may not have resolved through traditional treatment methods
To learn more on how we can help you with Intramuscular Manual Therapy for you or a family member, please give our office a call and ask for one of our Physical Therapist. Steve Coppola is available at our Concord office, Kristin "KK" Helling at our NEW Tilton office and Steve Gordon at our Candia location.