Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of
muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling is extremely effective
for relaxing overactive muscles, which contain trigger points.
The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological
principles. It should not be confused with the Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture. Dry needling, also known as myofascial trigger point dry needling,or intramuscular stimulation.
The trigger point is a direct and palpable source of pain, often containing multiple contracted knots in the muscle that may feel like tight bands. These “muscle knots” can cause pain, limit motion and affect performance. If left untreated, they can worsen over time. Trigger point dry needling is a treatment used by physical therapists to eliminate these trigger points. It involves inserting a sterile thin filament/acupuncture needle into the tight or sore muscle. It is called “dry needling” because, unlike a steroid injection, no substance is put into the body. When the needle penetrates the knots in a muscle, it elicits a twitch response, indicating a release or deactivation of the painful trigger point. At the cellular level, the muscle’s physiology changes to better absorb calcium, improve circulation, encourage tissue remodeling and promote healing.
It involves the use of either solid filiform needles or hollow-core hypodermic needles for therapy of muscle pain, including pain related to myofascial pain syndrome. Dry needling is mainly used to "treat" myofascial "trigger points", but it is also used to "target" connective tissue, neural ailments, and muscular ailments. The American Physical Therapy Association defines dry needling as a technique used to treat dysfunction of skeletal muscle and connective tissue, minimize peripheral nociception (pain), and improve or regulate structural or functional damage.
Dry needling may provide relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. In addition, easing the trigger points may improve flexibility and increase range of motion. That’s why this method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia pain.
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