Dry needling is becoming an increasingly popular adjunctive treatment tool for Chiropractors and other Allied Health Professionals alike. The term dry needling is used to differentiate the use of needling in a western philosophy to the use of needling within an oriental doctrine which is referred to as acupuncture.
Myofascial trigger points are a common cause of chronic neuromusculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Myofascial pain can be severe and can cause restrictions in body mechanics, impairment of neurological function, decreased circulation and lymphatic flow. Dry needling is a very effective non-pharmacological, targeted treatment that helps stimulate the nervous and circulatory systems. Treatment increases blood flow and stimulates healing.
There are different Dry needling approaches such as Myofascial or Trigger Point needling and Integrated Dry Needling.
More specifically, myofascial dry needling involves inserting a fine gauge acupuncture needle into trigger points. Studies have shown that this can elicit a change in the muscle’s electrical and chemical environment, stimulating the muscle to relax. 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.
Integrated Dry Needling is an original approach to dry needling that addresses tissue irritation and pain by resolving movement barriers, optimising movement efficiency and normalising tissue loading. This technique generally requires more needles and has more diverse applications which include the breakdown of scar tissue and adhesions as well as inflammation reduction.
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.