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  1. #1
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    Question Trigger Point Dry Needling

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    Have any of you had Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) as a treatment for musculoskeletal problems?

    Would you be willing to share your opinion on the technique? Was it helpful? Would you have it done again?

    I am trained in TDN, but currently in the state of OR the Acupuncture community is lobbying very hard to disallow the use of this technique by Physical Therapists. I would like very much to continue to use the techniqes in treatment but I'm trying to decide how hard I want to fight for this priviledge. It would be helpful to hear some things from consumers/patients.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    Have any of you had Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) as a treatment for musculoskeletal problems?

    Would you be willing to share your opinion on the technique? Was it helpful? Would you have it done again?

    I am trained in TDN, but currently in the state of OR the Acupuncture community is lobbying very hard to disallow the use of this technique by Physical Therapists. I would like very much to continue to use the techniqes in treatment but I'm trying to decide how hard I want to fight for this priviledge. It would be helpful to hear some things from consumers/patients.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Yes, I have. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the early 90s, I used to see a physician who was a pain specialist, Dr. Anders Sola, a really lovely man in his 70s---chapters in pain textbooks all over the world. He did this technique himself. I have said for 20+ years that the only things that helped with the severe muscle pain I had in the first decade were acupuncture (specifically the technique you refer to) and ice bags (except for the medication that caused all the weight gain and thus was not a sustainable approach).
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  3. #3
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    I had it done once by someone who was not very skilled. Most of the points were ok, but he managed to hit a spot on the arch of each foot that caused my feet to swell up and bruise for a few days. Since I went to him to help pain caused by running and was unable to walk for a day or two after my visit, I was pretty unhappy. But I imagine the right person could do some good.

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  4. #4
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    I had a PT guy work my trigger points especially for my frozen shoulder, but not with needles. I am inserting myself into this conversation because of Donald. his body (which has been seriously wounded several times over the last few months) has kind of frozen in some places. he can't move his right shoulder back to where it belongs and his back is a little hunched. I am most worried about his arms and shoulders as they are in pretty bad shape. Dry needling sounds painful. i have been doing light massage to some of his trigger points and am wondering who around here (seattle) can work with this stuff without causing him a lot of pain.
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  5. #5
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    Mimi, it is not painful. It really isn't.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  6. #6
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    our insurance won't pay for it anyway. We made an appt with the acupuncturist we like.
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  7. #7
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    Trigger point dry needling can be painful depending on how it's done and what the goals are. I'm usually treating athletes, so the technique is perhaps a bit more aggressive. It is definitely very different from acupuncture. The sensation during the technique can be achy, but it usually feels like an "ah there" kind of ache. And you can have a feeling afterward of the muscle groups treated having a post-exercise type of achiness for a day or two.

    Acupuncture in generally pretty painless, but may not get the release of tissue that Mimi is looking for.

    Mimi, is there any chance that Don could go to a PT to help with getting him on a light stretching and posture program? That might be the place to start. Massaging the trigger points is a really good thing too, especially if he can move around a bit afterward and stretch into the limits of his range of motion.
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  8. #8
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    i will talk to him about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post

    Mimi, is there any chance that Don could go to a PT to help with getting him on a light stretching and posture program? That might be the place to start. Massaging the trigger points is a really good thing too, especially if he can move around a bit afterward and stretch into the limits of his range of motion.
    I noticed an improvement in 24 hours after i worked the pressure points along his mid spine but am less confident around the shoulders... and he doesn't have a lot of confidence in me either. We had a guy who did this kind of stuff (Hellerwork) but he continued to hurt Donald so much that he won't go back. For me, the pain was welcome because of the results, but for D, it was a much less positive experience.
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  9. #9
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    I had TDN in November to help release trigger points that developed in my peroneal after I broke my ankle. It was done by my physical therapist as part of a bigger treatment plan. I think the TDN was effective and I would have it done again.

    With that being said, I'm not certain that the TDN was any more effective than the trigger point massage treatments. I can't compare apples to apples because my ankle continued to improve in between all of the treatments. Both types of treatments were uncomfortable while they were being applied but it seems like the therapist was able to perform TDN faster than he was able to complete the massage. That meant that I experienced discomfort for less time with TDN than with the massages.

    It seems that our bodies respond best to treatment variety rather than being subjected to exactly the same treatments for weeks on end. I'm a fan of well trained and competent physical therapists being able to offer many types of treatments and keeping TDN in their arsenals.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for that feedback Artista. I appreciate it. I agree that changing things up frequently is a good approach. TDN is just another tool in the toolbox and certainly isn't the end-all be-all. I probably still rely on my hands much more than anything else.

    Mimi, I wish you were closer. I'd pop by and teach you a few things.

    C.
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  11. #11
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    I wish you were closer too. I'd hire you.
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  12. #12
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    Wahine, just to clarify - my post was meant to encourage you to fight for your privilege to continue to do TDN. Just as TDN isn't the be-all end-all, neither is massage therapy. Competent physical therapists should be able to draw upon many therapy techniques, including TDN, to best help their patients.

    In my case in particular,TDN was a helpful part of my overall therapy. I'm pretty sure that I would be at least another couple of weeks behind in my rehab if not for TDN.
    LORI
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  13. #13
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    Frankly, I'd trust a PT more than an acupuncturist to use this technique. It isn't acupuncture anyway, not even close.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Frankly, I'd trust a PT more than an acupuncturist to use this technique. It isn't acupuncture anyway, not even close.
    I agree with goldfinch. I wouldn't want an acupuncturist to dry needle my trigger points for the same reasons that I wouldn't want my physical therapist to do acupuncture on me.
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  15. #15
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    Feb 2009
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    After not much success with a normal physio I went to a Golf swing/arm specialist physio and he does dry needling.

    Because my whole shoulder so extremly frozen and incapible of moving well (and nerve damage) it was extremely painful. It brought tears to my eyes. He was very careful about my screws and plate and swabbed that area with iodine before he put nedles in.

    But the results. There was no way that using a pulley, or walking my fingers up the wall was going to restore function in my arm. I was able to get over a few weeks my shoulder moving and my arm (with help) to lift above my shoulder. He also released my elbow which had been badly spained and by being in a sling for 6 weeks, I was unable to striaghten or move.

    For the right reasons I think dry needling is worth every bit of pain. Basically my muscles and nerves had forgotten how to function and the needles awakened them again.

 

 

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