What is dry needling and how does it work?

07 Aug 2015, Posted by Dougie in Blog Articles

10414851_1599609513660275_1713836604171113388_nDry needling for trigger points (TrP’s) involves inserting a single use acupuncture needling into a TrP. It is extremely effective in releasing the pain and tightness associated with TrP’s making the area of pain feeling normal i.e. pain free and with mobility restored. It is NOT acupuncture even though the same type of needles are used. The basic difference is that acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & is used to treat general health conditions and dry needling is based on Western medicine utilising our knowledge of anatomy, physiology and neurochemistry.

In effect, the needle causes tiny ‘injuries’ to the TrP’s which cause a local healing response in the dysfunctional, painful tissue, which restores normal function to through the natural healing process. Neural pathways are stimulated along with a whole host of local chemical responses – release of body proteins and neurotransmitters – which blocks the transmission of pain messages.

It is extremely safe and relatively painless – you may feel a sharp on insertion of the needle followed by a brief period of intense pain when the actual TrP is being deactivated. The needles are left in for up to 5-7 minutes and during that time, a general feeling of the pain/tension melting away can be felt; I have even had some clients fall asleep during treatment! It’s not uncommon to feel a bit ‘out of it’ post treatment but that’s a good thing! Plenty of water, rest and even a heat pack will aid in gaining maximum benefit from dry needling.