Intramuscular Needling
Gokavi Transverse Technique (GTT)

What is GTT?

GTT is an intramuscular needling technique that was pioneered by Dr Cynthia Gokavi. Dr Gokavi is an MD who is also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. GTT has proven particularly effective in treating chronic pain as well as many other types of pain such as: sciatic pain, tennis elbow, back pain, whiplash, plantar fasciitis and sports injuries.

technique involves the use of extremely fine acupuncture needles

This technique involves the use of extremely fine acupuncture needles (much thinner than the hollow needle used to inject medicine or take blood samples). The insertion of the needle into a normal muscle is painless. If a muscle is shortened the needling can cause a discomfort when the muscle grasps the needle. This is followed by a feeling of relaxation as the muscle releases. Transverse needling (across the muscle) makes the technique safe, reliable and effective.

Chronic Pain

By definition, chronic pain is any painful state lasting 3 or more months. One of the many causes of chronic pain is shortened muscle. A chronically shortened muscle contains tight bands and tender or painful focal areas known as trigger points. Chronic pain can occur in the absence of tissue damage or inflammation (ie – no findings on MRI).

The shortened muscle and trigger point complex

Trigger Points

Diagram of the trigger points

Trigger points and shortened muscle can be caused by overuse, repetitive trauma, bruises, strained joint structures, surgery and emotional stress. Pain from trigger points can be felt locally as well as at other sites remote to the problem (referred pain/symptoms).

Diagrams of symptom referral

The following are examples of symptom referral:

  • The neck muscle can cause pain and numbness in the arm/hand and chest.

  • Leg pain can be caused by dysfunction in the hip/buttock

  • Pain in the bottom of the foot can be due to trigger points in the calf muscle.

In addition, muscle shortening causes stress on tendons and increased pressure on joint structures.

How Does GTT Work?

Skilled palpation by the practitioner is used to identify painful trigger points and tight bands in muscle. When muscle shortening is relieved and trigger points are inactivated the pain in the muscle, tendon or joint is reduced.

For more information on whether this treatment technique would be appropriate for you, contact Steelcity Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre.