Knee pain is one of the most common causes of disability and mobility issues in individuals over the age of 30. Often caused by knee osteoarthritis, this pain can be so severe that it is the leading cause for knee replacement surgery worldwide. However, invasive surgery comes with its own set of risks and side effects, leaving many patients who suffer from chronic knee pain looking for other answers to help relieve their discomfort. Trigger point therapy that utilizes dry needling techniques has been shown to effectively reduce the pain and mobility issues associated with knee osteoarthritis.
A common treatment for extreme joint and muscle pain is known as trigger point injection. During these procedures, a patient is assessed for myofascial pain, which is characterized by:
Myofascial pain originates in the muscles due to dysfunction of the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissues which surround muscles.
Trigger point injections consist of targeted medication delivery to certain points of a patient’s musculature. Often consisting of anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants or pain relievers, these medication injections are initially quite painful. However, following a spasm of the muscles, many patients with knee osteoarthritis experience relief from their knee pain. To practitioners of dry needling therapy, it is clear that trigger points play a large role in the stiffness, loss of motion and chronic pain of this knee disorder.
This pain disorder of the musculature and connective tissues is still not fully understood. Despite many studies and investigations into the possible causes of why people experience this problem, no clear reason for its development have been established. Coupled by the fact that there are no laboratory or imaging tests to diagnose its presence, people who suffer from chronic soft tissue pain often feel frustrated and misunderstood.
However, trigger point therapy is an evidence-based method of treatment that is helping to uncover the mysteries of chronic pain. For people with knee pain, the link between osteoarthritis and trigger points may help to prevent costly and risky knee surgeries. Many patients with knee issues experience the following similar myofascial symptoms along with osteoarthritis:
Dry needling to relieve knee osteoarthritis is not to be confused with acupuncture or any other form of trigger point therapy. This dynamic and cutting-edge treatment modality is based upon scientific findings concerning the anatomy and physiology of the human body. This field of trigger point therapy utilizes:
This form of minimally invasive therapy works due to the aforementioned local twitch response (LTR). When a therapist inserts a needle into a trigger point, this area is already tense and sensitized, so needle stimulation induces a muscle spasm. The mechanics of why and how a trigger point stimulated by needle insertion causes the LTR are not fully understood, but theories postulate that the spasm disrupts the pain response in the human body. Once the muscle spasm has completed, the trigger point is often less palpable to the therapist and less painful to the patient.
This form of therapy is a valuable tool in pain management and has helped thousands of osteoarthritis patients rediscover a high quality of life. While needling won’t cure the actual bone and tissue changes that are associated with arthritic conditions, it is a high-impact form of pain therapy that is safe and practical for nearly any individual. Aside from pain reduction, patients who undergo this form of treatment often experience the following additional benefits:
For patients who are seeking a non-surgical alternative for painful knee conditions, New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy (NYDNR) offers this service in a state-of-the-art clinical setting. Highly trained doctors, therapists and technicians deliver compassionate care in a welcoming environment. At NYDNR, the focus is on developing a comprehensive treatment plan to address all possible causes of pain and dysfunction. With an interdisciplinary approach that is guaranteed to render positive results, New York residents have looked to this clinic for relief and care for well over a decade.
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