What Is Dry Needling? 

Dry needling refers to a procedure whereby a fine needle is inserted into the skin, muscle, and trigger point at a site of myofascial pain to induce a twitch response and relieve the pain. T

he needle may be moved in an up-and-down motion, rotated, and/or left in place for as long as 30 minutes. Dry needling may be performed with acupuncture needles or standard hypodermic needles, but is performed without the injection of medications (e.g., anesthetics, corticosteroids).

What Does Dry Needling Help Treat?

Dry needling is proposed to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue; diminish persistent peripheral pain; and reduce impairments of body structure and function. The physiological basis for dry needling depends on the targeted tissue and treatment objectives.

The most studied targets are trigger points. Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots within a taut band of skeletal muscle fibers that produce local and/or referred pain when stimulated. 

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Deep dry needling of trigger points is believed to reduce local and referred pain, improve range of motion, and decrease trigger point irritability. Superficial dry needling is thought to activate mechanoreceptors and have an indirect effect on pain by inhibiting C-fiber pain impulses. The physiological basis for dry needling treatment of excessive muscle tension, scar tissue, fascia, and connective tissues is not as well described in the literature.

Baby Monitoring Options

Alternative non pharmacological treatment modalities for trigger point pain include manual techniques, chiropractic, shockwave therapy, massage, acupressure, ultrasonography, application of heat or ice, diathermy, trans cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and spray cooling with manual stretch.