Functional Dry Needling
What is Functional Dry Needling (FDN)?
FND is a treatment used to treat a variety of soft-tissue injuries. FND is often referred to as a trigger point dry needling for it's common use in addressing trigger points in muscle tissue. FND, however, goes beyond treating trigger points. To understand this, let's first define what a trigger point is and where it comes from.
A trigger point in the muscle is noticeable area of tight skeletal tissue that is a common source of pain. It can result from local injury or irritation to a muscle tissue but it can also result from a complicated series of communications between the muscle and nervous system. For example, if you have an area of weakness in the body,your nervous system may give a signal to create a trigger point in the muscle to help compensate or stabilize for the weakness.This compensation can occur far away from the original source. In either case, trigger points can result in other muscles having to take up the slack and can result in more injury, trigger points, and pain patterns. The following tightness can cause entrapment or compression of nerves and tension on tendons and joints. In all of these cases, efficient movement and activation of the muscle becomes impaired and injury ensues (and persists).
The takeaway here is that it is often ineffective and possibly detrimental to treat a singular trigger point without knowing its true source. With proper evaluation and treatment with dry needling, we can not only quickly resolve trigger points but also return each muscle along this chain of dysfunction back to its healthy state, allowing freedom of movement and improved function.
How Does FDN Work?
FDN works similar to the way that sustained pressure, often applied during a massage,works to release a trigger point. However, dry needling is more direct, quicker, and can target tissue not noticeable by hand. The needle causes a twitch response which results relaxation of the trigger point and follows with a decrease in pain by way of decreased tension on muscles, tendons, and joints and decreased compression on sensitive nerves and vessels.
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