Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Trigger-point dry needling is an invasive procedure where a fine needle or acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin and muscle. It is aimed at myofascial trigger points (MTrP) which are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. Trigger point dry needling can be carried out at superficial or deep tissue level.
Triggering Pain Points
Dry needling uses “dry needles,” meaning no solution is injected into the skin. A very thin needle is inserted into the muscle’s trigger point. This typically causes the muscle to twitch which in turn causes the trigger point to release. Electrical stimulation (an electrical current) can also be used through a handheld device while the needle is inserted into the muscle. During the dry needling process, with or without electrical stimulation, you may feel a deep ache or cramping sensation.
What Is Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation?
PENS is a minimally invasive electrical stimulation treatment for chronic pain.
This works by helping to change the way pain nerves relay their pain message. No medication is injected. The needles used are extremely thin, like acupuncture needles. Up to 10 needles (5 electrical channels) are used. Small wires from a battery-powered electrical stimulator are used to deliver non-painful electrical stimulation near the nerves and in the tissues under the skin, such as the muscles.
While some people see an improvement right away, multiple treatments may be required. Treatments typically last about half an hour. An easing of muscle spasms from PENS may allow greater range of movement, leading to better physical functioning overall
After dry needling is performed you should expect to have increased range of motion and decreased pain and tightness. Your muscles may feel sore like they just got a really good workout. Stretches and strengthening exercises will then be added to your treatment and home exercise program to maintain the effects from dry needling.
Treatment For Conditions
Some examples of conditions that dry needling could be used on are:
Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) and percutaneous neuromodulation therapy (PNT) have been evaluated for the treatment of a variety of chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain conditions including low back pain, neck pain, diabetic neuropathy, chronic headache, and surface hyperalgesia.
Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy is a safe, well tolerated, minimally invasive, repeatable management option for trigeminal-mediated headshaking, with encouraging efficacy for amelioration of clinical signs in the short- to medium term.
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