Dry needling is a technique that is used to relieve trigger points. Not to be confused with the oriental practice of acupuncture, dry needling is being used successfully by physiotherapists trained in this technique.
There are two categories of dry needling: superficial dry needling and deep dry needling. As the name implies, superficial dry needling does not reach the myofascial trigger points and is painless. With deep dry needling, the needle goes directly into the myofascial trigger points, eliciting a twitch response, similar to what occurs when the knots are palpated. The twitch response shows that the needle has reached the knot and pain is reduced or relieved immediately.
Deep dry needling may trigger a person’s referred pain. For example, dry needling of myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius (upper back) or sternocleidomastoid muscles (at the side of the neck) may trigger the patient’s migraine.
Many doctors recommend dry needling as the first step in therapy when pain is present, however, patients have to be screened before beginning therapy. Some medical conditions such as infectious diseases, immune disorders and skin problems render the patient unsuitable for this procedure. As well as this, some practitioners may not treat patients on blood thinners. It is to be noted that dry needling does cause some soreness that may last one or two days. Contact us to discuss the suitability of this treatment for you.