There are few things as physically frustrating as a muscle knot that simply won’t go away.
We’ve all had them, in our necks, backs, shoulders and even our butts. Once we get them, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
The good news is long-term relief can be found with physiotherapy and dry needling. As a physiotherapist, I assess your problem or injury and get to the source of the issue. There are multiple ways to treat muscle pain, such as exercise and activity programs, education, use of muscle release and manual therapy. Dry needling is another very effective way to treat muscle pain.
Pain and muscle soreness affects so many of us at every age. Muscle knots, or trigger points can occur when your muscles are placed under stress or strain and can be tender, achy or even create sharp pain.
Muscle soreness can develop from both recent tweaks or long-standing injuries and can contribute to pain, loss of flexibility and range of motion, as well as muscle weakness.
Dry needling is a treatment that’s growing in popularity for muscle and myofascial pain. The dry needling process involves a thin filiform needle (like the ones used in acupuncture) penetrating the skin to stimulate underlying muscle knots that contribute to neuromusculoskeletal pain. Research shows that such stimulation, which focuses on the muscles associated with the pain, creates mechanical, electrophysical, chemical and neurophysiological changes in the muscle knot, all without injection.
Muscle knots can be treated with dry needling instead of injections as a less invasive and less painful option. The treatment itself is fairly short as the needles are removed once they elicit a twitch from the muscle knot.
Dry needling has been shown to be especially effective for the treatment of muscle pain, temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD), neck and low back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, heel pain and fibromyalgia. The best outcomes result from a combination of dry needling with other physiotherapy techniques and treatments, including manual therapy and exercise.
Whether your muscle pain is a result of being a weekend warrior, an athlete in training or you’ve just had it for as long as you can remember, physiotherapy with dry needling can be a great option.
It can be your means to getting back to doing what you love – whether that’s sports, work or taking your dog for a walk – and improving the quality of your life.
So, if you’ve tried everything but your muscles are still in knots, why not give dry needling a shot? The results can be significant, decreasing pain, improving muscle length and overall flexibility and function.
Sarah Bleichert, Physiotherapist and Certified Practitioner of Intramuscular Dry Needling and Acupuncture