Dry needling is a technique used for the treatment of pain and movement impairments. Dry needling provides relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. In addition, easing the trigger points may improve flexibility and increase range of motion. That’s why this method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia pain.
The technique uses a "dry" needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. Dry needling is used to release trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion.
The needle helps release the knot and relieve any muscle pain or spasms. The needles will remain in your skin for a short period of time. The length of time depends on your unique situation.
Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy. Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch, and touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.
What Kind of Needles Are Used?
Dry needling involves a thin filiform needle that penetrates the skin and stimulates underlying myofascial trigger points and muscular and connective tissues. The needle allows a physical therapist to target tissues that are not manually palpable.
What Conditions can Dry Needling help?
- Acute and chronic tendinitis
- Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
- Post-surgical pain
- Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
- Chronic pain conditions
- Headaches and whiplash
- Lower back pain