Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction.
Dry needling should not be confused with acupuncture as it involves inserting fine, sterile acupuncture needles into “trigger points” of muscles. A trigger point is a hyperirritable point within a muscle. Trigger points are tender on compression and can give rise to distinctive referred pain.
Dry needling begins with a physical examination. If the muscle is healthy, inserting the needle will be painless. If the muscle is sensitive, a dull ache or cramping sensation will be felt. This discomfort is caused by the muscle grasping the needle and the pain is welcomed as it means a feeling of relief and relaxation will soon be felt.
The needle may still be in you but because the muscle is no longer tight you no longer feel it because the needling has caused your abnormal muscle shortening to intensify and then release. You will gain lasting relief once this releasing sensation is experienced.
For some patients who experience chronic tightness, a milder form of the sensation may be felt for up to 72 hours after treatment.
Myofascial Dry Needling may be the quickest way to reduce pain and restore muscle function.
Research indicates that needle manipulation by the practitioner can cause corrective tissue displacement which may induce changes in surrounding myofascia.
The rate of healing and number of treatments you require depends on the condition of your muscles and the amount of irritation caused by trigger points. If the pain is recent you may only need one or two treatments, however more chronic pain may require more treatments. Dry needling stimulates a certain amount of healing until the pain disappears and the condition is healed.