Physical therapists have advanced credentials in the technique of trigger point dry needling. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points. Trigger point dry needling is also referred to as intramuscular manual therapy.

What is trigger point dry needling?

Trigger point dry needling is an intramuscular technique where a physical therapist inserts a thin, monofilament needle into a muscle to either stimulate muscle or nearby nerves. While there are several different types of dry needling, including trigger point and integrative, the ultimate purpose is to ‘reset’ a dysfunctional pain pattern. Studies have shown that it can be used to successfully treat a wide variety of injuries, ranging from cervical whiplash to total knee joint replacements.

When is trigger point dry needling indicated?

Any area of the body where there is a tight, restricted Muscle is appropriate for dry needling. As physical therapists, we are trained as movement specialists. Our goal in using dry needling is multi-purpose, including decreasing painful muscle spasms, increasing muscle strength and activation, and increasing range of motion. These all assist in helping patients move correctly and without dysfunction.

Can any physical therapist perform trigger point dry needling?

Only physical therapists that have been specifically trained, via educational and clinical practice, are allowed to perform dry needling in the state of Massachusetts. Any area of the body where there is a tight, restricted muscle is appropriate for dry needling