Dry needling is treatment similar to acupuncture, but with a basis in the Western system of medicine. As the research into this therapy has increased, dry needling is now being used frequently for successful treatment and management of sports injuries and other muscular-skeletal conditions.
Dry needling works by activating trigger points (a point consisting of multiple contraction knots in the muscle, which is often tender to the touch) through use of dry needles, similar to acupuncture needles. The needle is inserted at the trigger point and left for a period of time. This process is typically painless, though some patients may experience mild discomfort during or after the treatment. Applying an ice pack to the affected area for a short time can usually alleviate any discomfort.
Dry needling may be useful for a number of conditions – this therapy is used to treat all types of muscle pain, including neck, back, arm, shoulder, or leg pain. It may also assist in the treatment of headache or jaw pain, among many other muscular-skeletal conditions.
By reducing the tension contained at the body’s trigger points, dry needling may alleviate many types of pain.