Dry needling acupuncture is a medical modality for treating patients with soft tissue pain and sports injuries. Like traditional Chinese acupuncture, dry needling involves the use of filament needles to stimulate reactions in target tissues for its therapeutic effect.
In traditional Chinese acupuncture, pain, irritation or inflammation is diagnosed as a blockage in energy flow through one or more energy channels, called meridians. Pain is relieved by eliminating the blockage in the meridian(s). Conversely, with Dry Needling the points selected for inoculation of tissue are based on the actual anatomical sites of the motor or sensory nerves and/or the actual point of pain. These points may correspond to a muscular trigger point but not always.
How does dry needling work?
The muscular tightness or spasm that develops from an injury or disease process can cause irritation of the nerves anywhere along their pathway. When nerves are irritated, they can cause pain to any of the structures they innervate. By inserting needles at selective points along the nerve, we can affect both the source of the pain and the symptoms. By inserting needles directly into a trigger point, we can elicit a chemical and physiological change in the muscle, thereby relieving the pain.