Pain and Acupuncture – Trigger Point Therapy Explained

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Trigger-point acupuncture integrates three powerful and complementary techniques: acupuncture, Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), and trigger-point acupuncture. These combined therapies offer a comprehensive solution for addressing chronic pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, and mobility issues. By combining the wisdom of acupuncture, precision of IMS, and the targeted approach of trigger point therapy, treatments are tailored to meet your unique needs, working synergistically to alleviate pain, improve function, and promote overall well-being.

Understanding Trigger Points

Trigger points, or muscle knots, are hyperirritable spots within taut bands of skeletal muscle fibers. They can manifest as palpable nodules or tight bands, causing local or referred pain to other body areas. Factors like muscle overuse, injuries, or psychological stress contribute to their formation.

What Can Trigger Point Acupuncture Treat?

Trigger point acupuncture effectively manages a range of conditions:

  • Muscle Pain: Alleviates localized muscle tension, stiffness, and soreness.
  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Addresses chronic back pain, neck pain, tension headaches, sciatica, and fibromyalgia.
  • Referred Pain: Relieves pain that spreads to other areas from the trigger point, such as from the shoulder to the arm or neck.
  • Joint Pain: Manages discomfort around joints caused by trigger points.
  • Muscle Stiffness and Limited Range of Motion: Helps reduce stiffness and enhance flexibility.
  • Sports Injuries: Beneficial for managing and preventing muscle strain or injuries in athletes and physically active individuals.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Different treatments cater to various needs:

  • Acupuncture: Utilized for a wide range of conditions including pain management, stress reduction, digestive health, woman’s health, fertility and various physical and mental health concerns. Sessions are typically 50 minutes, incorporating techniques such as cupping, e-stim, and herbs. Needles are retained (left in) and practitioners will leave you alone to rest for part of the treatment.
  • IMS/Dry Needling: Involves acupuncture-like needles directly inserted into muscles, attempting to elicit a twitch. Needles are not retained (not left in). Treatments are either 15 or 30 minutes depending on how many muscle groups need to be treated.
  • Trigger Point Release Treatments: A one-on-one, comprehensive 60-minute session targeting trigger points located all over the body. Acupuncture and IMS techniques are used to release trigger points. Electrical stimulation may be used. I recommend starting with this treatment if you are interested in IMS follow ups. 

List of Common Ailments Treated with Trigger Point Acupuncture

  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Impingement and Pain
  • Tension Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Chronic Muscle Strains
  • Whiplash
  • Tennis Elbow/Golfer’s Elbow
  • Knee Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Migraines
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Dysfunction
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndromes

Optimizing Your Treatment Journey

Typically, I recommend beginning with a single Trigger Point Acupuncture session, a targeted treatment designed to address localized discomfort and pain. Most patients find that one session effectively mitigates their immediate concerns, with full reevaluation every 6 months to a year to ensure continued relief. 

For ongoing maintenance and sustained benefits, I often advise follow-up treatments with IMS. IMS effectively maintains your improved condition between Trigger Point Acupuncture sessions, ensuring ongoing support and relief.

For patients receiving Trigger Point Pain Injection treatments (MuscleMD, MyoClinic), interspersing Trigger Point Acupuncture and IMS sessions ensures consistent and comprehensive care.

If you have any inquiries or wish to discover how Trigger Point Acupuncture treatments can benefit you, please feel free to reach out to our clinic.