Functional Dry Needling (FDN), also know as trigger-point dry needling (TDN) or Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a treatment technique that involves inserting a thin filament needle past the skin into a muscle. The air of this technique is to remove any muscle trigger points and ‘reset’ the muscle to normal resting tension. By deactivating the trigger point, the patient will experience reduced pain and improved range of motion. The effectiveness will be apparent after 2-4 treatments, and can often be noticed immediately. There is no injectable solution used in this treatment. Most people will not feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it has advanced into the muscle, the feeling of discomfort can vary drastically from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort; however, if the muscle is sensitive, shortened, or has active trigger points, the person may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp—which is often referred to as a ‘twitch response’. This treatment is most effective for muscle injuries, tension, muscle spasms, movement imbalances, or chronically shortened muscles.
On Pins and Needles
Physiotherapist and columnist Cheryl Witter injects knowledge of the dry needling procedure
November 12, 2021