Though this therapy has been taught to practitioners for decades, it is somewhat of a newer technique to the mainstream. Dry needling is used to treat pain, specifically “myofascial” pain, which is pain within muscles, and the connective tissues of the body. Knotted areas of tissue and muscle, which we refer to as “trigger points,” form within the body. Trigger points can cause pain not only at the point of injury, but also in other areas of the body; we call this “referred pain.” Narrow, hollow needles are inserted into the trigger points. Though not completely understood, it is thought the stimulation of tissue by the needling assists the body in better communicating with the brain to improve functional muscle movement patterns. The improved functionality enables the patient to advance in range of motion and other therapy exercises, reducing, and ideally eliminating, pain.
The technique of dry needling is simple and safe. Thorough evaluation of the the patient’s specific anatomy and orthopedic functioning will determine the target area(s) for dry needling. Patient discomfort is minimal. Most people do not feel the needle going in, but can feel slight cramping or a brief twitch when a trigger point is hit. This is followed by what many refer to as a significant reduction in muscle tension.
We are often asked, “Is this acupuncture?” No, it is not. Accupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice said to address the flow of energy within the body. Dry Needling is an evidence-based, prescriptive application targeting specific points within the body where muscles and tissues are thought to be causing, or contributing to, pain, a decreased range of motion and/or a general loss of functionality.
Conditions That May Make A Case for Dry Needling
Other Pathological Muscle Tension
Other Chronic Pain
Post Surgical Rehab – Range of Motion Limitations