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Pain experienced in muscles is largely caused by trigger points. Trigger points are taut bands of muscle that refuse to fully relax, creating painful spots. The muscles that can cause pelvic floor pain include the abdominals, the pelvic floor, the glutes, the quadriceps or "quads", the hamstrings, deep hip external rotators like the piriformis, and internal rotators like the Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL), iliotibial band (IT band or ITB), and adductors. Trigger point dry needling can be used to specifically target trigger points, often buried deep within the muscle tissue, to facilitate relaxation of the muscle and reduce pain.

Cropped image of male physiotherapist doing dry puncture on the back of patient in clinic.


Dry needling involves inserting a very thin sterile needle into a trigger point. The length of the needle is based on the depth of the muscle. The goal of trigger point dry needling is to elicit a twitch response, which is a sudden contraction and subsequent relaxation of the treated muscle. Releasing the tightness in the muscle allows it to contract and relax better and improves the inherent strength of the muscle. This allows the muscle to do a better job performing its role in stabilizing the pelvis and performing motion.

Unlike acupuncture, which requires the needles left in place for an extended amount of time, dry needling locates the trigger point and employs a “pistoning” technique in which the needle is moved. This elicits a series of twitches from the trigger point and surrounding nerves, allowing the muscle to relax.




Men with chronic pelvic pain, testicular pain or penile pain have significant relief from abdominal dry needling of the oblique muscles. This has been shown to help even if the pain started years ago.

Abdominal needling can also help reduce bladder urgency in new mothers and decrease pubic and labia pain in women with chronic pelvic pain.


Cesarian scars treated with fascial needling are drastically improved in appearance and mobility of the scar tissue, removing adhesions and reducing the risk of pelvic pain and incontinence later in life.


Dry needling can also yield drastic improvements in pelvic floor pain and sciatic nerve symptoms with dry needling to trigger points in the glute muscles.

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