What is Dry Needling? Dry Needling is an efficient and cost effective western medicine technique used to reduce myofascial pain and dysfunction by using small sterile medical grade filiform needles without a medication to release myofascial trigger points. Dry needling is not associated with Acupuncture, which is based more on eastern Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques.
Myofascial trigger points have been referred to as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle and fascia that contribute to acute and chronic pain conditions. Trigger points can give rise to local muscular tenderness, referred pain and motor dysfunction.
With deep Dry Needling, needles are inserted into the myofascial trigger points to disrupt the integrity of the trigger point, which in turn allows improved blood flow, oxygen and nutrition, and improving the health of the tissue.
Superficial Dry Needling can also be used for local pain reduction and scar tissue remodeling, with which the needle is inserted just under the skin.
Dry Needling can be used in conjunction with electrical stimulation as well. TENS is a type of electrical stimulation that is specifically used for reduction of pain with the electrical current delivered into the body using sticky surface electrodes placed on the skin. With use of TENS, the current must penetrate from the surface electrodes through the resistance provided by the skin and underlying fat tissue and causes the current to lose intensity as it penetrates deeper into the muscle. TENS utilized with Dry Needling (PENS), allows the flow of electrical current to target deeper and more directly into the actual tissue that is contributing to pain without the resistance to the current associated with use of surface electrodes. PENS can be very effective at helping reduce pain and allowing for improved function.
Dry Needling requires special training and certification to utilize, which we can now offer to patients here at Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic.