This therapy is used to release myofascial adhesions and muscular trigger points. Dry-needling can relieve muscle tension, pain, and even referred pain to other areas of the body. Using tiny acupuncture needles inserted into problem areas, this therapeutic approach is like pushing a "reset" button in the muscles, helping to release these trigger points, restore muscle function, and alleviate pain.
What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a therapeutic technique that uses acupuncture needles to insert into trigger points without injecting any substances into the body (hence the term "dry" needling). While it has some similarities to acupuncture, it is based on Western medical principles that targets muscular trigger points.
During a dry needling session, your doctor will use thin, solid needles and insert them into trigger points. The depth and angle of insertion depend on the muscle being treated and desired therapeutic effect. The needles stimulate the trigger points, often causing a local twitch response, which is an involuntary contraction of the muscle. This contraction helps release the tension in the muscle fibers.
Dry needling can increase local blood circulation and improve healing and conditions like tendinopathy, tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, sprains and strains. Several recent studies compared dry needling therapy with steroid injections for tennis elbow, and found the recovery was superior with dry needling. The authors recommended dry needling be considered the first-line approach to treating many of these types of conditions.
Another unique effect of dry needling is the ability to stimulate muscles that have become underactive. Whether it's due to prior injury, compensation patterns, or even neurological injury, research has shown that dry needling can help improve muscle activation and control, and that it's one of the most effective ways to do so.
Pain relief: Dry needling provides effective pain relief by releasing trigger points and reducing muscle tension. It can be beneficial for various musculoskeletal conditions, including neck and back pain, headaches, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, and knee pain.
Improved range of motion: By targeting tight muscles and trigger points, dry needling helps improve flexibility and range of motion. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with restricted mobility due to muscle tightness or injury.
Enhanced muscle function: Dry needling can restore normal muscle function by releasing tension and improving blood circulation to the affected area. This can lead to improved muscle strength, coordination, and overall performance.
Faster recovery: Many patients report experiencing rapid pain relief and improved function after dry needling sessions. This can expedite the recovery process and allow you to get back to your daily activities or sports faster.