Question on Dry Needling, EDS and Dystonia

    • July 30, 2019 at 3:50 pm #29118
      DinoD
      Participant

      I recently listened to the presentation on the EDS resources website on dry needling.
      Given that you have extensive experience treating both EDS and patients with dystonia, I was wondering what your thoughts are on what I am experiencing.

      I’m 40 years old, awaiting formal diagnosis, but most likely Hypermobile EDS. I visited a physiotherapist recommended by the EDS community in my country, and after examination, started with dry needling. It brought immense relief to my whole body within the very first treatment – I felt ‘young’ again, with ease of movement. It’s allowed me to start moving again. The way I experience it and can describe the process, is that tight muscles misalign my joints AND keep them out of place for extended periods of time (as opposed to popping out and back in again). This creates stress and inflammation on tissue surrounding the joints, and I get diagnosed with things like bursitis, ligament tears, nerve compression, etc. The dry needling releases the muscle, and hence, the other stuff stops.

      So I started exercising more again, gentle stuff. On the fourth visit, my whole right side had flared up and had active trigger points up and down my body. I start strengthening exercises, gentle stuff. Then my therapist was away for three weeks. In the interim, I experienced a flare-up and down my arms/elbows/hands/fingers/neck/jaw/side of my face/side of the abdomen. It’s on both sides – the right is worse. It’s nerves and muscles. Not exactly new… I’ve had month-long bouts in the past of torticolis, TMJs, my head pointing to the right, slight kyphosis, hands closing up, etc. I discovered at the OT that my hand function has been compromised for about a decade now – nerve compression…? Again, it’s the severity that’s increased, and I notice it happens when I swim. So I switched to aquatic exercises for now.
      Fifth dry needling session, many active trigger points along the shoulder, neck, arms, and spine. I experience a bit of relief. I get some exercises to strengthen the shoulders. I am more mindful of where they are in space now.
      Now my lower back went into spasm and I can feel the active trigger points there… muscle tightness along the hips… etc.
      Through it all, I keep moving in whichever way I can and I keep doing my strengthening exercises. I do feel my body is slightly stronger.
      Not even six dry-needling sessions… pretty remarkable, I’d say.

      My questions is: is it common with EDS patients to have trigger points reactivate again easily, for muscle to be injured, from one week to the next?
      Is this something that improves once muscles become stronger?
      Or is this more characteristic of dystonias – that the muscle keeps reverting to a tight state, that this becomes it’s ‘natural’ state? If so, does this mean I will require weekly dry needling for the rest of my life, even with exercise?

    • July 30, 2019 at 3:52 pm #29119
      DinoD
      Participant

      The issue is systemic meaning that your pain and muscle spasm are not generated locally so if your shoulder or knee or back hurt today it does not mean you have the problem there. The issue lies much deeper so chasing the pain to each joint would only server to frustrate you and the clinician. The IDN system would treat the nervous system globally and not just locally where the pain is today. I do not know what type of dry needling your clinician has been trained in but I discuss the more global model of treating neurogenic inflammation in all of our courses. Based on many years of experience in EDS, Fibro and dystonia treating the nervous system in a logical pattern made the biggest difference in the patient outcome. This is reflected in our homeostatic model of treatment.

      You must also understand there is not a cure and you will be seeing someone for dry needling indefinitely but the way I tried to address this is I would get it to a point where I would only need to see them once every several weeks. In a perfect world that is the ideal way to address the chronic and centerally based pain conditions.

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