Dry needling is a procedure involving thin filiform needles used for treating muscular pain and promoting movement. Dry needling is effective at treating skeletal muscle dysfunctions, fascia, and connective tissues. Needles are placed into myofascial trigger points, bands of consciously contracted muscle tissue located within a large muscle group. They will be left in for 10 to 30 minutes. An initial twitch response can be expected upon insertion, which is healthy, but muscle fibers around the needle will relax shortly after and inflammation will diminish.
The treatment helps with increasing range and flexibility in joints, relaxing knotty muscles, improving blood flow, reducing pain, improving strength, and can also speed up the recovery process for a physical injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
Active trigger points are areas where nucleic acid-rich swellings create a knot within a muscle. In the muscle, injuries, musculoskeletal dysfunction or overstrain can cause activating trigger points. Once activated, the knot within a muscle limits its length, strength or contraction, causing pain.
The needle used for the procedure is very thin and most people don’t even notice as it penetrates the skin. The twitch response, however, usually provokes a brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this feeling as a few electrical shocks or cramping sensations.
Typically, patients notice positive results after their first few dry needling treatments.
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