Dry Needling (DN) is considered to be a cost effective and efficient technique for the treatment of pain and dysfunction of Myofascial origin. It is an approach that is based on western anatomical & neurophysiological principles. Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) are commonly seen in both acute and chronic pain conditions.
Dry Needling FAQ's
What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or near nerves to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is not acupuncture or Oriental Medicine; that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or low-back pain.
What is the difference between acupuncture and Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is performed by Western Medical Practitioners using Acupuncture-type needles to treat the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems based on modern neuroanatomy science. Dry Needling is used to directly affect muscular and neurological dysfunctions versus Acupuncture which uses principles affecting energy flow (Chia) along meridians. Acupuncture falls within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine. It would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of Dry Needling as an "Acupuncturist".
How can DN improve function and reduce pain?
-Dry Needling of muscular trigger points cause relaxation through disruption of the motor endplate.
-Tiny micro trauma created by the needle insertion cause a local healing response in the dysfunctional, painful tissue, which restores normal function through the natural healing process.
-Dry Needling stimulates neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting messages being sent to the central nervous system. The pain control process occurs by:
- Activating neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which can expand the response to other areas of the body.
- The Gate Theory of pain.
- Opioid suppression at the spinal cord level.
-Dry Needling causes a local chemically mediated response through the release of Bradykinins, Substance P, and other body proteins and neurotransmitters, which block the transmission of pain messages.
What are common injuries that can benefit from DN?
Acute and chronic tendonitis
Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
Chronic pain conditions
Headaches and whiplash
Lower back pain
Arthritic Joint Pain