Dry Needling: What you need to know!
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Dry needling reduces local pain and referred pain, reduces nervous system sensitivity, improves ROM and muscle activation patterns, and alters the chemical environment of trigger points.
Various approaches of dry needling exist but the most common and best supported approach targets myofascial trigger points. A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle that is located within a larger muscle group, palpable and tender to the touch. Touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.
Frequent causes of trigger points include injury, lack of mobility, sustained postures or what we commonly refer to as poor posture, repetitive activities that can cause microtrauma such as weightlifting, and chronic stress.
Many times to make the technique more comfortable or tolerable, we will hook the needles up to electrodes for intramuscular stimulation. This is very similar to using a TENS unit. The idea is to change the perception of nervous system input or nociception to then change the output or pain.