An inevitable component of participating in sports is the possibility of injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, the athlete may need to take some time off, followed by progressive rehabilitation. Typically, if the injury is diagnosed correctly, the athlete will return to sport in a predictable timeframe. However, there are other situations when sports injuries have healed, but the athlete is still dealing with pain and movement restrictions. Why does this happen? While there may be a few possible factors, it is often the case muscular dysfunctions have not been properly identified and treated. Muscular trigger points can form due to the initial overload and stress to the area when the injury occurred. In some cases of muscle pain, it may get worse with time rather than improve. This can lead to frustration for the athlete and coaches involved. At Bethesda Physiocare, our therapists are orthopedic experts trained to identify underlying myofascial trigger points. Here are some patient examples of athletes we were able to help with dry needling of myofascial trigger points for sports injuries.
Professional Baseball Player: A outfielder with chronic knee pain from multiple meniscus surgeries was struggling to get full range of motion and run without extreme pain. Strategic trigger point dry needling to the quadriceps and surgical scar was performed. Within 3 sessions, the athlete was 90% improved and returned to high-level competition.
College Cross Country Runner: A long-distance runner was dealing with hip pain starting after 1 mile. The patient was diagnosed with a labral tear and was recommended surgery. After examining the patient, it was determined there were significant trigger points in the TFL, sartorius, and rectus femoris. Dry needling was performed, and the patient returned to running pain-free in 4 sessions.
High School Soccer Player: A competitive soccer player was dealing with back pain that radiated down the back of the leg. The player was diagnosed with a herniated disc and recommended to discontinue playing for the season. After a thorough evaluation, it was determined the patient had trigger points in his hamstring and gluteus muscles. Dry needling was performed, and the patient was able to return to a progressive strengthening program without pain. After a few more weeks of rehab, the patient returned to the pitch without limitations.
College Volleyball Player: A volleyball player injured her arm with an overhead serve. The diagnosis was a biceps tendon strain. She was told to rest and then return to competition in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the pain never resolved, and she was unable to play without pain. Upon physical therapy evaluation, it was determined there were several trigger points in her infraspinatus. After two sessions of dry needling, the patient was able to return to sport without pain.