Dry Needling is the insertion of a very fine, sterile needle into a myofascial trigger point.
The aim is to reduce pain caused by this trigger point, and reduce tightness/spasm in the targeted muscle.
Insertion of the needle will usually elicit your pain and/or provoke a local twitch response (a little spasm or twitch in the muscle).
Usually the needle is left in for a minute, or several minutes.
The practitioner may also ‘fan’ or move the needle to elicit a twitch.
Most clients describe a cramping sensation, or a small electric shock feeling – some find it hard to describe, others don’t feel the needle go in at all!
Dry Needling can be effective of musculoskeletal problems, including (but not limited to): low back pain, tension headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, buttock pain, calf tightness/spasms.
How does it actually work?
Increases blood flow and flushing out the inflammatory chemicals in that muscle.
Nerve pathways are stimulated to release natural opioids within the body.
Pain Gate Theory (local segmental effect, dry needling can stimulate nerve fibers that block the pain message reaching the central nervous system.
Needle insertion stimulates the release of serotonin in the central nervous system.
Are there side-effects?
Temporary dull ache/ tightness in the area – this should dissipate within 24 hours.
Side effects are usually mild, and may include bruising, fatigue and a temporary increase in pain.
Dry Needling is a safe technique, and the side effects are minimal compared to drugs or surgery.
What to do after Dry Needling?
Heat-pack / warm shower, light stretching, sometimes Myofascial massage
Conditions can be effectively treated include:
Cramping & spasm muscles
Limited Range of motion