What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a skilled intervention utilized by physical therapists to relieve pain and encourage healing. A thin needle is used to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues to manage neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. Dry needling may inhibit the transmission of pain signals, reduce local inflammation, and promote the release of the body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.
How is this different from acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of health care developed from traditional and modern Chinese medical concepts. Acupuncturists utilize separate diagnoses and treatment techniques for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health and the prevention of disease.
Dry needling focuses on eliminating active trigger points to relieve pain and movement impairments. Active trigger points are found to have higher concentrations of inflammatory mediators and pH, which have been correlated with pain. Dry needling these areas may alter this abnormally high pH level, thus reducing discomfort. Dry needling is often coupled with manual manipulation of the needles or electrical stimulation to maximize the pain relieving effect.
A video library on dry needling as well as other interventions is located on our website. Have a question about dry needling and wondering if it is right for you? “Ask the Doctor” by clicking here to submit your question.