American Family Children's Hospital

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Sports Medicine Clinic

(608) 263-4765


Spine Medicine Clinic

(608) 265-3207 

UW Health Sports Medicine Sports Rehabilitation and UW Health Spine Physical Therapy offer trigger point dry needling as an effective treatment for muscular pain from sport and orthopedic injuries and conditions.


What is trigger point dry needling?


Trigger point dry needling involves the insertion of a thin needle (monofilament) through the skin without the injection of any drug or solution. The movement of the needle deactivates painful trigger points (knots) in muscle tissue, called myofacial pain.


Trigger point dry needling targets nerve and muscle trigger points that are found in a spinal nerve root segmental pattern. The goal of the treatment is to create a mechanical stimulus - a twitch response - from one or more muscles that share the same nerve supply. The twitch response affects the biochemical and biomechanical properties of that muscle. Most people don't feel the needle penetrate the skin during treatment. Once the needle has advanced into the muscle, it responds with an involuntary twitch and/or muscle cramping sensation.


Learn more about trigger point dry needling from the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy


What is trigger point dry needling used for?


Trigger point dry needling can be an effective treatment tool for acute and chronic pain and rehabilitation from injury. Generally patients have few side effects. Common conditions include:

  • Tennis or golfers elbow
  • Muscle strains
  • Upper- and lower-back pain
  • Shoulder pain

Positive results are often apparent within two to four treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms and overall health of the patient.


Our Trigger Point Needling Providers


Liz Chumanov, DPT, PhD

Liz practices physical therapy at the UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Clinic. Liz has a special interest in helping moms return to running following childbirth and uses her training in ultrasound imaging to retrain the abdominal muscles following chi...

Megan O'Connell, PT, DPT, CSCS, PES

Megan practices physical therapy at the UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Clinic. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Associa...

Carrie Schwoerer, PT

Carrie practices physical therapy at the UW Health Spine Physical Therapy Clinic. She treats individuals with functional limitations due to spinal orthopedic disorders, prenatal/postpartum musculoskeletal concerns, pelvic floor dysfunction, and pe...

Julie Sherry, PT, DPT, MS

Julie specializes in orthopedic spine rehabilitation. She is an expert clinician within the UW orthopedics and rehabilitation department. Her special interests include treating athletes with spinal pain and the clinical use of electrical stimulation ...

Jacob Spiro, MPT

Jacob practices physical therapy at UW Health Sports Rehabilitation - Princeton Club West.  His special interests include treating patients with problems of the shoulder, hip, knee, and foot/ankle, including both conservative and post-operative ...