Ever wonder why you have a muscle that just won’t relax or stretch out? Or why you always seem to strain or injure the same area? Have pain that won’t go away regardless of how much mobility work you do? It is possible you have myofascial trigger points in the area.
“Myofascial trigger points are sites of muscle injury where local biomechanical changes lad to sustained muscle contraction, compression of blood vessels, and a local energy crisis that causes hypoxia – this situation perpetuates the release of inflammatory cytokines and nocioceptive (pain producing) substances.” (Skidar, Shah, Danhoff, & Gerber) In easier terms, myofascial trigger points are tender nodules within taut bands of muscle. Normal muscle does not contain taut bands.
How do trigger points affect you?
- Motor aspects: disturbed motor function, muscle weakness due to inhibition, muscle stiffness, and restricted range of motion.
- Sensory aspects: local pain referral, peripheral and central sensitization.
- Autonomic aspects: vasomotor and visceral referral – where there are trigger points in the head and neck region, dizziness and tinnitus can occur.
There are multiple ways to address trigger points, including stretching, massage, trigger point release, and dry needling. All methods can work, but it can also depend on how large the trigger point is. The quickest method to get you back to your top performance and quickly out of pain is by doing dry needling.
Dry needling uses small, single filament needles to get into the trigger point, disrupting the muscle fiber and increasing blood flow, as well as releasing natural opiods which activate the analgesic (pain control) systems in the brain and spinal cord.
If you have muscle or joint pain (either stubborn pain that won’t go away or recent pain that you need rid of quickly), call or email me to schedule a dry needling appointment!