Dry needling, also referred to a musculoskeletal acupuncture is a form of myofacial trigger point therapy.
A Myofacial trigger point is a hypersensitive “knot” within a taught band of muscle or facia (connective tissue) that is going to shorten and contract, making it difficult for the muscle to relax, restrict range of motion, generate optimum power and generally function normally. Trigger points can also be a significant source of pain both locally in the affected muscle tissue and referred to other locations. Trigger points can be identified via mechanical stimulation – stretch or direct pressure, to reproduce a familiar pain.
Dry needling technique aims to insert an acupuncture needle into this trigger point to stimulate it. This restores the local biochemistry, stimulates tissue repair, relaxes the muscle fibres and ultimately reduces pain.
According to the quality evidence around the technique in order to get the maximum benefit from dry needling it is ideal to illicit what is called a local twitch response. Where on insertion, the muscle will contract or “twitch” generating a numbness, mild ache or even referred sensation that disappears after a short period of time.
Dry needling therapy is great for sporting injuries, muscle aches and pains and restricted movement. It is a fantastic adjunct to your usual chiropractic care.