Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles and is supported by research.
Dry Needling involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point.” The aim of Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects.
Based on the Trigger Point theory, dry needling targets the discrete, irritable points in skeletal muscle and fascia, which, upon compression, are painful and can refer tenderness or radiate pain.
When tissue is injured, whether by acute trauma or repetitive use, the body responds with inflammation to that area. In an effort to further protect itself, the damaged tissue contracts resulting in a decrease in oxygen and the ability to remove toxins from the inflamed area. Left untreated, restriction in mobility can occur as scar tissue builds up around the muscles and tissues. Dry needling can not only eliminate neuromuscular pain but also restore mobility and functionality.
The Dry Needling technique utilizes very thin, solid filament needles, which are inserted into the knotted muscle to elicit a twitch response, resulting in a relaxation of muscle contraction. In addition, the produced immune response to the insertion of the needle affects a systemic reduction in inflammation all over the body, not just locally. It is termed ‘dry’ as no material is injected into the tissue.
Due to the ability to reach deep, affected areas, Dry Needling is highly effective in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.