Licensed Acupuncture Physician, Alvaro Toledo, in addition to his 4 years Masters in Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine and 9 years of clinical practice, also spent over 70 hours of in person Dry Needling training through Myopain. Alvaro is one of the few Acupuncturists in the State of Florida to be fully certified in Dry Needling for the intramuscular treatment of Myofascial trigger points. Schedule an appointment today.

Myofascial pain refers to pain that directly affects the tissue that connects to and covers muscles throughout the body. This discomfort can be severe and may cause the affected areas to be highly sensitive until properly treated. While there are a wide range of treatments that can be used to help alleviate this discomfort, one of the most effective treatments is dry needling, which is detailed further in the following.

What Is Dry Needling?

This is designed specifically to treat discomfort in certain areas of the body where myofascial pain is present. This treatment involves pushing very thin needles directly through the skin and into any affected trigger point within the muscle fibers.

These needles don’t inject medication but instead stimulate the tissue in an attempt to eliminate any aching or tension in the area. In many cases, these needles will stay in the tissue for a few seconds. On the other hand, they may need to be kept in place for upwards of 10-15 minutes when treating more severe or longstanding chronic pain.

What Are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are sensitive spots that can be found in soft tissue. These spots are commonly referred to as muscle knots and can result from any number of different injuries and health conditions. When trigger points are touched, the discomfort than at individual experiences can be very noticeable.

What Conditions Does It Help With?

This specific treatment is primarily used to alleviate the pain that’s caused by the presence of trigger points. However, it can also help to increase a person’s range of motion that’s limited by scar tissue or muscle tightness. Some of the additional conditions that this treatment can assist with include:

  • Muscle tightness and restricted mobility

  • Acute or chonic muscle pain

  • Whiplash

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Headaches

  • Tendinitis

  • Joint pain or inflammation

  • Muscle inhibition

Is It Painful?

Each individual experiences a different sensation when the needles are applied to the skin. When a needle is inserted into the trigger point, such side effects as muscle twitching, temporary muscle soreness, and brief aching are to be expected. However, this treatment isn’t considered to be painful in the majority of cases.

How Long Does It Take for It to Work?

While a reduction in discomfort and poor mobility should be felt within 24-48 hours, additional treatment sessions may be necessary to achieve long-lasting effects.

Is There Scientific Research Behind It?

Extensive research has been performed to test the efficacy of this particular treatment. Most of these studies suggest that this treatment is effective in reducing pain associated with trigger points.

If you are interested in learning more about dry needling and the benefits that can be derived from this treatment, contact Gainesville Acupuncture & Holistic Medicine today to schedule an appointment.

Research Articles:

1. Dry Needling and Upper Cervical Spinal Manipulation in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorder: a Multi-Center Randomized Clinical Trial (Dunning et al, 2022)

2. Spinal Manipulation and Perineurial Electrical Dry Needling in Patients with Cervicogenic Headache: a Multi-Center Randomized Clinical Trial (Dunning et al, 2021)

3. Dry Needling as a Novel Intervention for Cervicogenic Somatosensory Tinnitus: a Case Study (Womack et al, 2020)

4. Spinal Manipulation and Electrical Dry Needling in Patients with Subacromial Pain Syndrome: a Multi-Center Randomized Clinical Trial (Dunning et al, 2021)

5. Electrical Dry Needling as an Adjunct to Exercise, Manual Therapy, and Ultrasound for Plantar Fasciitis: a Multi-Center Randomized Clinical Trial (Dunning et al, 2018)

6. Periosteal Electrical Dry Needling as an Adjunct to Exercise and Manual Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: a Multi-Center Randomized Clinical Trial (Dunning et al, 2018)

7. The Use of Dry Needling as a Diagnostic Tool and Clinical Treatment for Cervicogenic Dizziness: a Literature Review & Case Series (Escaloni et al, 2018)

8. The Local Twitch Response During Trigger Point Dry Needling: Is it Necessary for Successful Outcomes? (Perreault et al, 2017)

10. Peripheral and Spinal Mechanisms of Pain and Dry Needling Mediated Analgesia: a Clinical Resource Guide for Health Care Professionals (Butts et al, 2016)

11. Dry Needling: a Literature Review with Implications for Clinical Practice Guidelines (Dunning et al, 2014)