Dry Needling for Sports Injury

How Dry Needling Treats Sports Injuries

Acute Vs. Chronic Injuries

Acute Injuries

The body’s response to an acute injury causes tightening of muscles, swelling, stiffness, and pain. These stagnations need to be moved in order for the body to regain optimal health. Acupuncture frees up these blockages and releases the tight muscles and trigger points so the body’s energy can flow freely, promoting healing and recovery.

Chronic Injuries

Over time, injuries that are ignored or mistreated begin to break down the bodies energy levels and usually lead to worse injuries or additional injuries in surrounding areas. As the body’s internal recovery system is weakened, it exposes the entire body to potential injury. Acupuncture enables the body to heal and build qi (energy) levels, allowing the natural healing systems of the body to maximize recovery.

Healing with Dry Needling

Muscle Pain, Trigger Points and Motor Points

Trigger points are tight bands or knots in a muscle that cause a person to feel referred pain in other areas of the body. These trigger points can be active or dormant and can cause pain sensations that sideline many athletes. Picture a rubber band, a normal rubber band can stretch and return to its normal length without much effort, but if you tie a knot in the middle of the rubber band it shortens and no longer can function properly. This is similar to what happens with muscles, if a trigger point causes a muscle to shorten then it looses not just its function but also strength, range of motion, flexibility and most importantly proper function. In order to remove that knot we have to “work it out” this can be done by using a foam roller, through massage or through acupuncture. By inserting a very thin needle into a muscle fiber that is knotted you send a signal to the body to release the knot and restore proper function of the muscle.

What’s the BEST way to release a Trigger Point?

Dry Needling is one of the most effective ways to release trigger points in the body. When a massage therapist releases a trigger point, it can be very painful because they have to trap the trigger point in the muscle and squeeze with their hand until it is released. If a trigger point is released by a physical therapist or doctor who uses a syringe (a large needle), this syringe can cause excess bruising and muscle tears that take longer to heal. Dry Needling uses a tiny needle that allows access into muscles without causing excessive muscle tears and bruising and quickly releases the trigger point.

Motor Points, the yin and yang of healing.

When assessing an injury you have to look at the yin and yang aspect of the body, for example if a muscle is shortened then another muscle is lengthened. If we only release the trigger points without balancing the body then not only will the injury return, but it can lead to other injuries. One of the most effective ways to balance the body is using motor points in the muscles. A motor point is where the motor nerve enters the muscle. These motor nerves carry signals to the muscle that tell the muscle when to contract. When a muscle is damaged these impulses don’t fire correctly and a muscle can remain in a shortened or over stretched state. Once the trigger point or lesion in a muscle is released it is important to incorporate the needling of muscle motor points to “jump start” the muscle. When a motor point is needled it has an effect on the motor nerve innervation which causes changes in the muscle spindles, this can result in making tight muscles looser, weak muscles stronger and increased range of motion.