Dry needling sometimes also called trigger point dry needling, is a technique used by some Doctors, Osteopaths and physiotherapists.
Dry needling differs from accupuncture because the practitioner is not aiming to effect the meridians or energy force. Instead the practitioners aim to reduce areas of tension in the soft tissues of the body. To do this they insert thin solid needles through the skin into trigger points. Trigger points are areas of tension in muscle tissue that can cause discomfort or pain and that may cause referred pain (pain that affects another part of the body). The needles are used to stimulate the tissue and encourage a release in tension but not to inject any substance or medication. They may be inserted deep into the tissue or more superficially and for shorter or longer periods of time, depending on what type of condition that is being treated and how long it has been present.
Some patients may experience different sensations when receiving dry needling, which may include: some muscle soreness, aching and a muscle twitch when the needle is inserted.
Dry needling will almost always be used as a part of a comprehensive treatment approach to your problem, in addition to other therapeutic techniques including: manual therapy and exercise/stretching prescription.
Common conditions that dry needling is used to treat include: