Dry Needling - Please share your experiences
by mangosucker, Dec 22, 2012
My entire body has active trigger points.  They are so bad that some days I am almost completely crippled and can barely walk.  I am 47 and exercised almost every day for my entire life until about 3 years ago when these trigger points started shutting down my muscles.  I have been an accountant for 20+ years.  My entire career has involved sitting for 8+ hours a day in front of a computer, 5 days a week.  I can no longer sit for 8 hours a day because it is just too painful.  I am desperate to save my career and livelihood.

I have been going for dry needling treatments, one a month, for five months.  They are definitely releasing the trigger points but I have so many throughout my body, it's a slow process.   The doctor performing the treatments would like me to be able to handle more releases per session so we can get to the hundreds of trigger points in my body.  But I find the treatments so painful, that I can only handle about 5-12 releases per session.  I am trying my hardest to overcome the pain I am experiencing with each release/twitch response and my doctor is getting frustrated because I can't handle any more than that per session.   I don't think it's my pain tolerance as I had two drug free, natural child births and was able to handle that pain.   Also it’s not the needle going in that I find painful either.  In fact, I hardly feel anything until the doctor hits a trigger point.  Then I find the pain from each twitch unbearably painful so it limits the amount I can take per session.  

Anyone else have extreme pain during dry needling treatments?  If so, any ideas for being able to handle the pain during the sessions?
Member Comments (5)
by Dr. Kokil MathurBlank, Dec 24, 2012
You are probably going through acupuncture for treating the pain. This will not be 100% successful as there are too many pain points. To treat this pain, you need to find the cause and treat it also. Unexplained aches and pains coming on and off could be due to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, H pylori infection, anemia, liver disorders, diabetes, hypothyroidism, Vit B12 or Vit D deficiency and due to calcium or magnesium deficiency. It can also be due to sleep related disorders. In women it can be due to hormonal disturbances related to PCOD/menopause. Severe anemia, and parathyroid gland disorders can also be the cause. Autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathies due to diabetes, hypothyroidism, Lyme or lupus too should be investigated for. This needs a comprehensive investigation. Consult a doctor please. Take care!
by mangosucker, Dec 28, 2012
These are not acupuncture treatments - these are dry needling treatments.  The doctor find the trigger point or "muscle knot" and sticks a needle right into the belly of the muscle.  When they make a direct hit into the trigger point, to me it feels like an electrical shock, followed by severe cramp that lasts a couple of seconds.  I've had acupuncture too and these two treatments are not the same except for the use of a needle.  Acupuncture is very relaxing and I can fall asleep during a treatment.  Dry needling is extremely painful and sometimes I can only handle the pain of three hits/twitches before I have to ask the doctor to stop.

I've been seen by many doctors, specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc over three years and none of them can find anything wrong with me other than widespread, crippling trigger points.  The only thing I can think of that might be causing it is my 20+ years of sitting in front of a computer for 8 or more hours a day.  For many years I had severe spasms in my QL that would knock me to the ground even though I kept in shape with regular daily exercise (weight training/running, various sports).  I also have two bulging discs in L4/L5 and L5/S1.   Again........maybe the QL is stressed out from sitting for so many hours over the years?  Could a stressed QL, combined with shortened muscles from prolonged sitting, and muscle overuse from computer mousing/keying all together eventually cause such crippling symptoms?
by omhome, Dec 28, 2012
i love those mangos too there mango-----hey---if i were you i would look for professional advice at another site. The doctors here do not seem to understand what the poster is asking or presenting many times and you will get better answers elsewhere most likely.
   However this is a great place for help from your peers and from people who do understand pain and how to relieve it. OK?  Post back!  And my answer to your question is yes i think that is possibility.    omhome
by RockoMojo, Jan 13, 2014
Although it's been a year I noticed that you posted this, just want to say, yes, I too, have experienced extreme pain during dry needle sessions.  Not sure what the problem is either.  I am 50 years old and 120 lbs and being treated for scoliosis.  I have a "45 degree" curve in the lower spine.  Started out as a "slight curve" when I was a teen and therefore didn't require attention.
All I know, is, I dread the sessions terribly and my doctor, also became frustrated to the point, she chose to stop treating me.  I felt as though I had done something wrong?  I consider myself as having a pretty high pain tolerance as well, but for some reason, when the needles go into and around my spine, it HURTS deeply to the point of tears. I too, have lead a pretty healthy lifestyle- running, mild/moderate weight training, not to mention having 4 children.  Been tested for all of kinds of disorders, nothing.  I'm now participating in nerve burnings/injections.  While the injections and recovery period is difficult and painful, the first couple of weeks, it seems to help over the long run?
by mangosucker, Jan 16, 2014
Since I originally posted, my doctor has also stopped the dry needling treatments because we weren't able to get them treated as fast as new ones were forming.  I can only sit in front of the computer now for about 4 hours a day.  After 4 hours of sitting, I am in so much pain and so exhausted from fighting the pain that I have to do the rest of my work using a lap top while lying in bed or in a recliner chair.  Still in pain but at least not as much pain as sitting.  I still haven't been able to find a doctor that can figure out why I am in so much pain and my muscles are so stiff all the time.  I am starting to give up hope.