Trigger Point Dry Needling

Sports Medicine Clinic

(608) 263-4765


Spine Medicine Clinic

(608) 265-3207 



Trigger Point Dry Needling: On-Point Pain Relief

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.