Dry needling is a safe, minimally painful, and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled, trained physical therapists, certified in the procedure, and is used in conjunction with treatment procedures such as Manual Therapy and Exercise by our PTs.
Dry needling is a technique in which a fine needle is used to penetrate the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscle, with the intent to mechanically disrupt tissue without the use of an anesthetic.
Dry needling is often used to treat myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), which are described as localized hypersensitive or painful or tender spots in a taut band of muscle. These irritable spots can be classified as active MTrPs when they produce spontaneous pain and, upon being palpation from the Therapist, reproduce patient’s familiar pain.
A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
So, what is a trigger point? A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce pain that is noticeable to the patient right away. Dry-needling of these myofascial trigger points via mechanical stimulation causes an analgesic effect.
The needle may cause a small focal lesion which triggers satellite cell migration to the area which repair or replace damaged myofibers. This occurs 7-10 days after dry needling, this process facilitates healing of the injured area.
Dry needling treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function, and is used by our therapists in combination with exercises.
Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain, planter fascitis, frozen shoulder.