Dry needling is a technique used to help alleviate muscle tightness and soreness. It is called ‘dry needling’ because there is no injection into the body, only the insertion of a thin acupuncture needle.
Dry needling is done by inserting a needle into the muscle in the area of the body which is causing pain. This area is often where a trigger point lies within the muscle. Myofascial trigger points are tight, hypersensitive parts of the muscle and fascia that often cause the muscle to shorten and limit movement. Trigger points can produce local pain, or can refer pain or discomfort to distal parts of the same muscle or to different parts of the body.
A healthy muscle feels minimal (if any) pain or discomfort, whereas a muscle that contains a trigger point will often produce a deep ache or discomfort with needle insertion. It is common to have a ‘twitch response’ when a needle is inserted into a trigger point. A twitch response is a tissue response where the muscle has an involuntary contraction along the fibres specific to that trigger point. This often feels like a small muscle cramp and may also reproduce the sensation of referral pain or similar symptom reproduction.
Effects of dry needling:
- Decreases local muscle tightness
- Changes local blood flow
- Reduces chemical irritation
- Increases flexibility
- Decreases pain
Dry needling results may vary depending on the duration and severity of the trigger points and what is causing the trigger points. Some people experience immediate relief whereas some people take several sessions to release the trigger points. Some people can experience post treatment soreness in the area of treatment. This can last anywhere between an hour to a couple of days.
Ask us if dry needling could work for you.