- Many countries employ dry needling in the clinical management of patients with myofascial pain and trigger points.
- The advantage of dry needling are increasingly documented and include:
- – Immediate reduction in local, referred and widespread pain.
- – Restoration of range of motion.
- – Normalization of the immediate chemical environment of active myofascial trigger points.
- Dry needling can reduce peripheral and central sensitization.
Pain medication is used to reduce pain, but what about tissue healing and function after an injury? Dry needling, a relatively new medical treatment option, is something to consider to treat muscle, tendon and other soft tissue pains.
Dry needling is a unique procedure designed to specifically target and restore muscle function, with an emphasis on improving tissue healing and restoring normal tissue function. This is important as continued activity with poor muscle function may lead to further tissue damage and increased pain. Dry needling is not meant to replace conventional medical procedures such as physical therapy or surgery. However, when combined with conventional treatment options, dry needling can be a powerful method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function.
Dry needling should not be confused with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture. TCM is based on the use of “pulses,” “coatings” and “meridians” (or channels) derived from ancient Chinese philosophy and culture. Modern dry needling is based on current medical science and research known and accepted by today’s primary care, orthopedic, neurologic and pain management physicians.
The tiny needling induces injury signals the brain uses to initiate a sequence of events to replace or repair the damaged tissue with new, healthy tissue. Needling in a painful trigger point or muscular knot frequently provokes a “twitch” response from the muscle. This is both diagnostic as well as therapeutic, because healthy muscle tissue will not “twitch” when stimulated by the needle. Once a “twitch” response has been elicited, the muscle fibers in that area relax, inflammation is reduced and circulation improves. As a result of these physiologic processes, dry needling can specifically address muscle, tendon and myofascial pain.
- Well tolerated
- Minimal risk
- Do not need to stop blood thinning medications