What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments or near nerves to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is not acupuncture or Oriental Medicine; that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy along traditional Chinese meridians. The treatment is focused upon the pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or low-back pain.

Difference between acupuncture and Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is performed by Western Medical Practitioners using Acupuncture-type needles to treat the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems based on modern neuroanatomy science. Dry Needling is used to directly affect muscular and neurological dysfunctions versus Acupuncture which uses principles affecting energy flow (Chia) along meridians. Acupuncture falls within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine. It would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of Dry Needling as an “Acupuncturist”.

How can DN improve function and reduce pain?

Dry Needling to muscular trigger points causes relaxation through disruption of the motor endplate. Tiny micro trauma created by the needle insertion cause a local healing response in the dysfunctional, painful tissue, which restores normal function through the natural healing process. Dry Needling stimulates neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting messages being sent to the central nervous system. The pain control process occurs by:

  • Opioid suppression at the spinal cord level.
  • The Gate Theory of pain.
  • Activating neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which can expand the response to other areas of the body.
  • Dry Needling causes a local chemically mediated response through the release of Bradykinins, Substance P, and other body proteins and neurotransmitters, which block the transmission of pain messages.

Common injuries which could benefit from DN?

  • Acute and chronic tendonitis
  • Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work-related injuries
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Headaches and whiplash
  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritic Joint Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • ……and more