Acupuncture needles are inserted into skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. These ‘trigger points’ are tender nodules of tight muscle fibres which commonly elicit pain to a patient when pressure is applied.
The application of the needle to a trigger point elicits a twitch response, which can produce a very brief pain response. Patients commonly describe this as a small, cramping sensation.
This results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle.