How Does Dry Needling Treat Pain

man gets dry needling technique applied in shoulder at physio therapy session

How Does Dry Needling Treat Pain?

Dry needling is a therapy that treats pains and spasms associated with a range of conditions, such as muscular strains, arthritis, herniated discs and nerve irritation. It is also called intramuscular manual therapy and myofascial trigger point dry needling. In this method, a physical therapist uses a dry needle without any medicines to penetrate the muscle for alleviating pain and enhancing range of movement.

Trigger Points and Their Impact

Pain generated by muscles is known as myofascial pain. Myofascial trigger points (MTrP) are created when strained or injured muscles transform into hyperirritable, contracted knots. Trigger points may cause local sensitivity, twitching and referred pain, which means that triggered muscles in one area can produce pain in another part of the body. MTrP can be active or latent, leading to a host of painful and movement-restricting symptoms.

Comparison With Contemporary Medical Acupuncture

Dry needling is based on the principles of Western medicine, and it is not to be confused with acupuncture, which is part of traditional Chinese medicine. However, both treatment methods use sterile and disposable needles. For performing dry needling, physical therapists undergo appropriate postgraduate training and education.

Type of Needle and the Treatment Mechanism

Dry needling employs a thin needle to penetrate the skin and muscle and prompt a mechanical stimulation of the concealed trigger point. This produces a local twitch reflex due to depolarization of muscle fibers. The pain is reduced, and the dysfunction of the motor end plates is disrupted, after the muscle twitching stops and the electrical activity dissipates.

Connect With Performance Rehab Associates for a Personalized Therapeutic Plan

If you have questions regarding dry needle treatment or any other therapy, contact PRA through the online form and by selecting one of our locations. Do not settle with chronic and debilitating aches. Work with our team of specialized clinicians to get rid of symptoms and causes of pain and attain optimal health and well-being.