Myofascial trigger points are a commonly overlooked cause of chronic neuromusculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Myofascial pain can be severe and debilitating, and can cause restrictions in normal biomechanical joint function, impairment of neurological function, as well as impairment of circulation and lymphatic flow.
Dry needling is a very effective non-pharmalogical treatment that is thought to induce changes in the trigger point’s surrounding fascia.
The term dry needling is used to differentiate the use of needling in a western philosophy from the use of needling in an oriental philosophy which is referred to as acupuncture.
Dry needling involves inserting a fine gauge acupuncture needle into the myofascial trigger point. Studies have shown that this can elicit a change in the muscle’s electrical and chemical environment therefore allowing the muscle to return to normal and “let go”. This normalises blood flow and allows proper cellular function to return. There is also a release of specific chemicals which help repair and rebuild damaged tissue in the area.
In the hands of a skilled practitioner dry needling has very few side effects and post treatment soreness is reported to be significantly less than following manual trigger point therapy.