Dry needling refers to a therapeutic treatment that involves the use of an acupuncture (filament) needle inserted into a localised area of muscle tension.
The treatment principle is based on the way in which specific muscle bands can shorten and produce pain. If left untreated, shortened muscles can become locked into an inflammatory state which is then experienced as localised or radiating pain. Muscle fibres typically contain a sensitive node in the belly of the muscle called a trigger point.
When dry needling is performed, nothing is injected into the body and the needle used is hair-thin. Most patients will not feel the needle penetrate the skin, but there may be a small bit of discomfort when the trigger point is activated. If the muscle is currently in spasm and has an active trigger point, the patient may feel a sensation like a muscle cramp or twitch – this is called the “twitch response”.
Typically, lasting results are seen within 2-4 treatments but the number of sessions needed varies depending on the cause and history of the symptoms and the overall health conditions. Dry needling is a quick and effective treatment for acute and for more chronic pain conditions. It can also be used following an injury or post-surgery. This technique has few side effects and is preferred as a means to find and eliminate neuromuscular problems that may lead to pain and degeneration.
I use Trigger Point Dry Needling to give my patients fast results. Many times, the results from dry needling are more dramatic than from traditional acupuncture treatment.
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