How Does Dry Needling Work?
There have been numerous studies showing the efficacy of pain reduction and improved function of trigger points through the use of Dry Needling, such as:
- Increased inflammatory chemical mediators
- Increased local pH and electrical activity.
- Reduced muscle tension.
- Restoring neural input in the nervous system that has been disrupted.
- The process of inserting a metal object into the tissue disturbs the muscles electrical activity, sort of like sticking a metal screw driver into a circuit board, which short circuits the system and causes the nervous system to essentially reboot itself.
- We can help determine which areas can be the source of your pain and other dysfunction by examining different trigger points.
How is Dry Needling Performed?
Doctors will thoroughly examine you to determine if trigger points may be a source of your pain or dysfunction by using a very small needle. Usually 2 or 3 muscles will contain trigger points in a region for the majority of our patients. The technique is aimed at achieving what is called a “latent twitch response”. This is seen as a twitch of the muscle, which in turn will deactivate the trigger point. The area will usually feel sore or crampy for an hour or maybe a day or so, but it isn’t painful. The needles used for the trigger points are very small and most people do not even feel the needle inter the skin.
How is Dry Needling Different than Acupuncture?
We get this question often. While they both use the same tool, a small filament needle, they actual processes are quite different and are used in different ways. A person that receives an acupuncture treatment and a Dry Needling treatment will both experience the feeling of the needle, but the specifics of treatment location and and the reasoning for where the needles are placed differs.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point can develop in a muscle that is overused or traumatically injured. These can often times happen after a car accident or sports injury.This is a taut muscular band, essentially a knot in a muscle that is painful when external pressure is applied. The muscle is in a shortened phase and is stuck in that position. There is a local biochemical imbalance and a bioelectrical local dysfunction which Dry Needling helps restore to normal.