Trigger Point Dry Needling

David G. Simons, MD, co-author of the Simons, Travell, and Simons Trigger Point Manual, has stated that, “Since no medical specialty claims skeletal muscle as their organ, it is often overlooked.”

Indeed, several studies have confirmed that myofascial pain is one of the most commonly ignored causes of persistent pain. Many of our patients report that previous healthcare providers rarely have included the detailed and specific muscle examination that is common at MOST. The hallmark feature of myofascial pain syndrome is a so-called “trigger point,” which can be responsible for prolonged pain and dysfunction. A common characteristic of trigger points is referred pain, which may confuse those clinicians who are not familiar with common referred pain patterns. Dr. Janet Travell, MD, perhaps best known as President Kennedy’s White House physician, has mapped out the referred pain patterns of most skeletal muscles.

Although trigger points and myofascial pain are poorly recognized worldwide, there is a growing number of scientific studies that confirm that trigger points are indeed a very common source of pain and dysfunction. Physical therapists at MOST are very involved with researchers and clinicians worldwide and are among the world’s top specialists in myofascial pain syndrome. Trigger point dry needling is one of the most effective treatment options to inactivate myofascial trigger points.

Ralph Simpson is certified in trigger point dry needling through Myopain Seminars and Dr Jan Dommerholt. Dr. Dommerholt was the first physical therapist in the United States to teach trigger point dry needling courses and injection techniques to physicians, dentists, physical therapists, and other eligible health care providers. Several course instructors from other continuing education companies studied with Dr. Dommerholt.

Have questions about dry needling? You might find the answers in this Dry Needling FAQ (pdf) publication. 

For more information about trigger point dry needling and myofascial trigger point therapy, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ralph Simpson, PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, CMTPT, LACT at 406-862-2348.