Dry Needling – Effective Treatment for Trigger Points

“Since no medical specialty claims skeletal muscle as their organ, it is often overlooked.”

David Simons, MD


Myofascial Pain

In medicine, practitioners are trained to become specialists. But, there are no physicians specializing in treating skeletal muscle. Fortunately, Physical Therapists are thought of as the leaders in movement science and also specialists of the musculoskeletal system, which includes fascia.

Myofascia is the complex of muscle and fascia which can rarely be separated.

Interestingly, there is building evidence suggesting that myofascial pain is one of the most commonly ignored causes of persistent pain. Unfortunately, the knowledge around myofascial pain tends to be limited and therefore not universally applied across different medical providers.

What Are Trigger Points?

The hallmark feature of myofascial pain syndrome is a so-called “trigger point.” This “trigger point” can contribute to prolonged pain and dysfunction. Trigger points often cause referred pain, meaning pain felt in different areas than those in which they originate. In her studies, Dr. Janet Travell, MD, mapped out the referred pain patterns of most skeletal muscles.

Science Behind Trigger Point Dry Needling

Notably, there are a growing number of scientific studies that confirm that trigger points are indeed a very common source of pain and dysfunction.

The physical therapists at Anchor Wellness Inc. are trained through Myopain Seminars, founded by Dr. Jan Dommerholt. Dr. Dommerholt is a leading researcher worldwide and is one of the world’s top specialists in myofascial pain syndrome. Additionally, he worked directly with both Drs. Travell and Simons to learn about myofascial pain and dry needling.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a technique in which a needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. A trigger point is a contracture of parts of the muscle fiber, which can therefore contribute to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. Trigger points often present with overuse, disuse or blunt trauma (i.e., whiplash).

For more information on the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture, click here.

Dry needling is one of the most effective treatment options to address trigger points. It’s been demonstrated to be effective for many common ailments such as:

Pelvic floor disorders

Elbow pain

Hip pain

Knee pain

Scar tissue

Shoulder pain

Wrist pain

Sports-related injuries

Work-related injury

Occipital neuralgia

Migraine headaches

Tension-type headaches

TMJ disorders

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)

Our Expertise In Dry Needling

All of the physical therapists at Anchor Wellness Center are certified in dry needling. In fact, Dr. Sarah Crawford was actually the first Physical Therapist in the state of Ohio to be fully credentialed in dry needling, carrying the designation CMTPT (Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist).

For more information about dry needling and myofascial trigger point therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Learn more about our physical therapists here to determine who may be best for you.