What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a non-invasive procedure in which a thin filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a trigger point.
Dry Needling calls on the nervous system's natural response to aid in healing.
Dry needling can help all musculoskeletal problems including, but not limited to: muscle sprains and strains; neck, back, and shoulder pain; arm pain; tennis elbow; carpal tunnel; leg pain; sciatica; hamstring strains; migraines and tension headaches; jaw pain; and much more!
The treatment of muscles has the greatest effect on reducing pain mechanisms in the nervous system. Typically, it takes 4 to 6 visits for a positive reaction to take place on an acute injury.
Is Dry Needling Similar to Acupuncture?
Dry Needling is a western form of Acupuncture. Acupuncture falls within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture literally means a “needle puncture” but the term is usually applied when the needling is performed at prescribed points. Dry Needling is performed at a palpated trigger point or tender point. Dry Needling differs from Acupuncture because it only focuses on muscular problems, tension headaches or issues traditionally resolved through physical therapy.
How Does Dry Needling Work?
Dry Needling targets trigger points in muscles. A trigger point is a hypersensitive region within a muscle. Based on the pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, we know that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit so-called local twitch responses, which are spinal cord reflexes. Local twitch responses with dry needling is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief painful response. Following this technique muscle soreness can be felt up to 24-48 hours.
Where does dry needling fit into the entire program?
Dry needling is the modality of choice when it comes to treating acute injuries, muscle spasms or muscle pattern imbalances. It is very common to initiate dry needling at the beginning of your treatment program in order to break the pain cycle. Once that is achieved, other treatment options are introduced.