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This Is What Sparked My Dry Needling Passion

Posted by NAIOMT on Jan 17, 2018 4:01:43 AM

My lovely wife. I blame her for sparking my passion for dry needling. A little background on her will help. She’s a pediatric physical therapist, smart as a whip, and very skeptical of my manual techniques.  As I was completing my fellowship I was feeling pretty confident in my skills when she came to me with complaints of bilateral cervicothoracic junction and upper trapezius pain.

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Topics: Manual Therapy, Dry Needling, dry needling courses, dry needling education, trigger point dry needling

3 Special Skill Areas That Can Help PTs in The Clinic

Posted by NAIOMT on Oct 18, 2017 8:26:06 PM

By now you may have heard about or taken one of our multi-level manual therapy courses on the cervical spine, thoracic spine,  lumbopelvic spine, or upper and lower quadrant. But as faculty who are practicing clinicians seeing recurring issues in clinics across the country, once in a while we make the decision to develop specialty courses beyond our core curriculum to equip PTs with the skills to address them. Here are a few coming up that may relate to what you're facing in the clinic.

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Topics: Manual Therapy, manual therapy courses, Dry Needling, Uncategorized

Abstract of The Week: The association between dry needling-induced twitch response and change in pain and muscle function in patients with low back pain

Posted by NAIOMT on Nov 11, 2016 10:36:08 AM
This week we recommend taking a look at the following abstract:
Koppenhaver SL et al.  The association between dry needling-induced twitch response and change in pain and muscle function in patients with low back pain: a quasi-experimental study.  Physiotherapy (2016)

Objective: To investigate the relationship between dry needling-induced twitch response and change in pain, disability, nociceptive sensitivity,and lumbar multifidus muscle function, in patients with low back pain (LBP).

Design:
Quasi-experimental study.Setting Department of Defense Academic Institution.

Participants:
Sixty-six patients with mechanical LBP (38 men, 28 women, age: 41.3 [9.2] years).

Interventions:
Dry needling treatment to the lumbar multifidus muscles between L3 and L5 bilaterally.

Main outcome measure:s
Examination procedures included numeric pain rating, the Modified Oswestry Disability Index, pressure algometry,and real-time ultrasound imaging assessment of lumbar multifidus muscle function before and after dry needling treatment. Pain pressurethreshold (PPT) was used to measure nocioceptive sensitivity. The percent change in muscle thickness from rest to contraction was calculatedto represent muscle function. Participants were dichotomized and compared based on whether or not they experienced at least one twitchresponse on the most painful side and spinal level during dry needling.

Result:s
Participants experiencing local twitch response during dry needling exhibited greater immediate improvement in lumbar multifidusmuscle function than participants who did not experience a twitch (thickness change with twitch: 12.4 [6]%, thickness change without twitch:5.7 [11]%, mean difference adjusted for baseline value, 95%CI: 4.4 [1 to 8]%). However, this difference was not present after 1-week, andthere were no between-groups differences in disability, pain intensity, or nociceptive sensitivity.

Conclusions:
The twitch response during dry needling might be clinically relevant, but should not be considered necessary for successfultreatment.

To pop, or not to pop?  That has long been a questions among clinicians who utilize spinal manipulation.  Is the cavitation, or audible pop, necessary to achieve a "successful" manipluation?  While some literature indicates that it may not be necessary, this remains a viable question.

In an almost synonymous fashion, achieving a local twitch response (LTR) has been viewed by some as one of the primary goals with dry needling as it has been associated with better treatment outcomes (1,2).  The local twitch response has been shown to be associated with a decrease in nociceptive and inflammatory chemicals (1,3-6), increased blood flow (7), and decrease pain (8) to name a few.  In some circles, the LTR considered as the hallmark of a successful dry needling treatment.  Recently, the authors sought to investigate the association between the LTR and changes in pain and function in patients with lumbar pain.

Outcome measures included numeric pain rating, Modified Oswestry Disability Index, pressure algometry and real time ultrasound imaging (RUSI) of the lumbar multifidus function before and after dry needling treatment.  Muscle function was defined as the percent change in multifidus muscle thickness from rest to contraction measured via (RUSI).  The presence of a LTR during dry needling treatment was deemed to have occurred if at least one visible or palpable twitch was observed by the examiner or reported by the participant.
Following treatment, subjects were dichotomized into two groups: those experiencing a LTR and those not experiencing a LTR on the most painful multifidus identified during baseline assessment.  Data analysis revealed that those patients experiencing a LTR exhibited greater immediateimprovement in lumbar multifidus muscle function than those patients that did not experience a LTR.  This difference, although present immediately after treatment, was not present at a 1 week follow up assessment.  Additionally there were no between-group differences in disability, pain intensity or nociceptive sensitivity as measured by pressure algometry.
The first investigation to look at the clinical importance of the LTR led authors to conclude that the LTR may be clinically relevant, but should not be considered as the hallmark of a successful treatment.  Regardless of your opinions on this topic, the outcomes of this investigation point to a bigger picture.  Our manual techniques have temporal effects.  In other words, if all you are doing is dry needling with your patient, you're missing a big piece of the clinical puzzle.  Most of our patients will have a host of other impairments, i.e. joint dysfunction, poor motor control, faulty movement patterns, limited dural mobility, etc. that dry needling may or may not be able to address.  This begs the question......where does dry needling fit into the overall management of your patient?
Gary Kearns, PT, COMT, FAAOMPT

**Abstract of the week shared by NAIOMT Clinical Fellowship Instructor Gary Kearns, PT, COMT, FAAOMPT

1. Dommerholt J, Mayoral del Moral O, Grobli C.  Trigger point dry needling.  J Man Manip Ther.  2006;14(4):70E-87E

2. Hong CZ.  Lidocaine injection versus dry needling to myofascial trigger points.  The importance of the local twitch response.  Am J Phys Med Rehabil.  1994;73(4):256-263.

3. Bron C, Dommerholt JD.  Etiology of myofascial trigger points.  Curr Pain Headache Rep.  2012;16(5):439-444.

4. Huguenin LK.  Myofascial trigger points: the current evidence.  Phys Ther Sport.  2004;5(1).

5.  Shah JP, Phillips T, Danoff JV, Gerber LH.  A novel microanalytical technique for assaying soft tissue demonstrates significant quantitative biochemical differences in 3 clinically distinct groups: normal, latent, and active.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil.  2003;84(9):E4.

6.  Shat JP, Phillips TM, Danoff, JV, Gerber LH.  An in vivo microanalytical technique for measuring the local biochemical milieu of human skeletal muscle.  J App Physiol.  2005;99(5):1977-1984.

7.  Jimbo S, Atsuta Y, Kobayashi T, Matsuno T.  Effects of dry needling at tender points for neck pain (Japanese: Katakori): near-infrared spectroscopy for monitoring muscular oxygenation of the trapezius.  J Orthop Sci.  2008;13(2):101-106.

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Topics: Abstract of the Week, manual therapy, back pain, Dry Needling, low back pain, Uncategorized

PT Profile: David Bond

Posted by NAIOMT on May 19, 2016 8:31:34 PM

This week, we'd like you to meet David Bond, a third-year student physical therapist at the University of Washington. But he's not your average PT student. A former fire fighter and paramedic, he's currently interning in outpatient physical therapy at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. As we've mentioned many times before, we feel it's important to hear (and learn!) from not only the most seasoned PTs, but those who are the next wave to be in the field. David is showing tremendous promise and passion and we're pleased to share a bit of his perspective with you.

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Topics: PT Profile, Spinal manipulation, Dry Needling

Abstract of The Week: Effect of Dry Needling for Myofascial Trigger Points in the Neck and Shoulders

Posted by NAIOMT on Sep 14, 2015 12:45:55 PM

Abstract: The effect of dry needling for myofascial trigger points in the neck and shoulders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ong J1, Claydon LS2.
This systematic review and meta-analysis sought investigate the efficacy of dry needling of myofascial trigger points in the neck and shoulders. Four of the quality articles reviewed compared dry needling to lidocaine injections on pain relief.

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Topics: Abstract of the Week, Manual Therapy, neck pain, shoulder pain, Dry Needling, dry needling course, TPDN

Rationale for Choosing Dry Needling: A Story

Posted by NAIOMT on Aug 20, 2015 8:37:01 PM

I had a 34 year old gentleman I was treating for a textbook L5 radiculopathy. He was responding beautifully to a combination of a Medrol dose pack, mechanical traction and an extension biased program. After 3 weeks his radicular symptoms were abolished and he was left with mild right lumbosacral pain that was resistant to further treatment. Honestly, at this point I was a bit stuck. Objectively, ROM testing was non-provocative, repeated movements did nothing, biomechanical assessment was unremarkable, neural testing was non-provocative and palpation only revealed bilateral multifidus atrophy at L5.  Do I chalk it up to low level dural irritation I can’t provoke?  What about very minor inflammation producing a chemically mediated pain I can’t provoke?  Or, is it just the posterior annulus that remains painful?  I could go on, but I think you see my paralysis by overanalysis.

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Topics: manual therapy, Manual Therapy, Clinical Reasoning, Dry Needling, dry needling course

Come. Let us reason together

Posted by NAIOMT on Aug 13, 2015 10:44:18 AM

Of late,Twitter has been engulfed in a rather ferocious to and fro on dry needling. The current darling of the PT world has been challenged. As any chivalrous gentleman would do, swords were drawn from their scabbards in defense of 'her' honor. The two sides parried back and forth until, so far as I can tell, each became weary of the other and returned to their abodes with nothing in particular resolved. (See just a few points of view here, here, and here).

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Topics: Manual Therapy, Dry Needling, dry needling debate, Hot Topics

Abstract of the Week: Adverse Events Following Trigger Point Dry Needling

Posted by NAIOMT on Aug 3, 2015 12:14:13 PM

Abstract: Adverse events following trigger point dry needling: A prospective survey of chartered physiotherapists.

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Topics: Abstract of the Week, Manual Therapy, clinical skills, Dry Needling, dry needling study, trigger point dry needling

Abstract of the Week: Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling in Prevention of Pain After Knee Arthroplasty

Posted by NAIOMT on Jul 24, 2015 12:49:22 PM

"Efficacy of myofascial trigger point dry needling in the prevention of pain after total knee arthroplasty: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial."

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Topics: Abstract of the Week, myofascial trigger point dry needling, Dry Needling, dry needling courses, dry needling studies

This Is What Sparked My Dry Needling Passion

Posted by NAIOMT on Jul 18, 2015 4:01:43 PM

My lovely wife. I blame her for sparking my passion for dry needling. A little background on her will help. She’s a pediatric physical therapist, smart as a whip, and very skeptical of my manual techniques.  As I was completing my fellowship I was feeling pretty confident in my skills when she came to me with complaints of bilateral cervicothoracic junction and upper trapezius pain.

Read More

Topics: Manual Therapy, Dry Needling, dry needling courses, dry needling education, trigger point dry needling

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