Dry Needling Explained
Dry Needling is a soft tissue therapy technique designed to treat many different musculoskeletal conditions. A filiform needle (acupuncture needle) is used to release tension and stimulate healing through the body’s natural healing process. While there are some similarities to acupuncture, the approach is quite different. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine and meridians in the body. Typically, several needles are used at once and they are left in your skin for a few minutes up to 30 minutes. Dry needling takes more of a Western medicine approach with looking at dysfunctional movement patterns, trigger points, and neurology. Needles are often left in for only a few seconds with dry needling, but there are many different approaches to both acupuncture and dry needling.
When joints experience pain it can often be due to an imbalance between musculature activity. The altered activity causes improper motion of a joint which leads to joint surface irritation, then inflammation, and eventually, pain.
A common response to dry needling is a local twitch response. When the needle is inserted into the dysfunctional muscle tissue, it affects the communication at the motor end plates (where signals are sent between your muscles and nerves), and helps restore proper communication from the brain to that site.