Dry needling and dry needling for hypertony and spasticity

Muscles sometimes develop knotted areas called trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are highly sensitive spots in skeletal muscle, produce hypersensitive palpable nodule in a tight band and can be painful when touched.They are also often the cause of pain that affects another part of the body (referred pain).

We are talking about an invasive technique with a thin solid needle like an acupuncture needle. This needle is inserted into the skin and muscle until the trigger point has been reached in a superficial or deep tissue level for shorter (you being needled for seconds) or longer (few minutes) periods of time depending of what type of pain you are suffering. The needles are used to stimulate the tissue, not to inject medication.

There are two kind of trigger points:

  • Active trigger points may be spontaneous and produce local or referred pain and weakness.
  • Latent trigger points do not cause pain unless they are stimulated.

Therefore both active and latent trigger points cause allodynia and hyperalgesia away from the trigger point following applied pressure.

When we use dry needling?

  • Identification of myofascial trigger points
  • Deep dry needling reproduces your pain
  • Identification of 'Jump' and refered pain through palpation

Criteria for diagnosis myofascial trigger points are:

  • Spot tenderness in a palpable band of skeletal musle
  • Subject recognition of pain with palpation
  • Joint and problems
  • Tendinitis, musculoskeletal and phantom pain
  • Migraine and headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders
  • Whiplash
  • Repetitive motion disorders Spinal problems
  • Cramps

Dry needling for hypertony and spasticity (DNHS)

Also we can use dry needling in neurological disorders for the improvement of function, in these case we are talking about dry needling for hypertonia and spasticity (DNHS®).
The DNHS® uses same needles and the goals of the technique are improving pain and mobility, decrease hypertony and spasticity.
The technique can be used in patients with central nervous system lesions like traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke…

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