Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)


What is TDN?

TDN involves inserting needles into painful or tight muscles in the body in order to relieve tension and dysfunction.

Muscular tightness and spasm commonly follow injuries and often accompany the degenerative processes. This muscular tightness and spasm will cause compression and irritation of the nerves exiting the spine. When the nerves are irritated, they cause a protective spasm of all the muscles to which they are connected. This may cause peripheral arm or leg problems such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, decreased mobility, and chronic pain.

Practitioners of TDN are trained to insert small, thin needles in the muscles at the trigger points causing the pain referral. Once the needle hits the appropriate trigger point, the muscle will then contract and release, therefore improving flexibility of the muscle and decreasing symptoms.


What is TDN used to treat?

TDN is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of muscular problems including:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Overuse injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Tendonitis, Bursitis

At Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic, your Physiotherapist is trained through post graduate course work in the safe and effective application of Trigger Point Dry Needling to address any of your muscular pain issues.


Is TDN the same as Acupuncture?

TDN and Acupuncture are similar insofar as they both involve the use of fine needles being inserted into body tissue. However, while Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese theory of meridians, in which treatment points are pre-determined and set along certain lines in the body, TDN involves a more specific anatomical approach, in which the therapist will palpate and identify specific areas that are causing your muscular pain, and then insert needles directly into these points.

With TDN, the goal is to elicit a local response in the muscle known as the “twitch response,” whereby the muscle contracts when hit by the needle, and then relaxes to a more lengthened and less painful state.

TDN can be an extremely effective technique for the treatment of chronic muscular pain, spasm, and tightness.

Your Physiotherapist at Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic is trained through post graduate course work in the use of both Trigger Point Dry Needling and Acupuncture, and will be more than happy to discuss the benefits of both options with you.


When performed by a Physiotherapist, TDN and Acupuncture treatments are considered part of your general treatment plan. There is therefore no extra cost to you as a patient, and you can claim the treatment for insurance purposes in the same way you would any normal Physiotherapy session.

Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic has been serving Kanata, Stittsville, West Ottawa, Nepean and surrounding areas for over 15 years.

To book an appointment with a Physiotherapist who provides TDN and/or Acupuncture, or for any questions about fees, please call (613) 599-8132.