How Dry Needling Can Help You
13 May 2016
What is dry needling?
The musculoskeletal pain and neuromuscular dysfunction you experience is commonly the aftermath of having fibre contraction knots, formally known as a myofascial trigger point, which create stress within your smaller muscles. Dry needling works to target these knots by using a thin filament needle for specific insertion at a myofascial trigger point into both the skin and muscle.
Why is it unique?
Dry needling is a relatively newer method of treatment, as it wasn’t properly established until the 1980s. A major aim of dry needling is to relax the contracted muscles within your body by producing a stimulus. As an invasive procedure with specific stimulation, dry needling proves most effective in relieving pain mechanisms throughout your nervous system and as a result, motivates your nervous system’s natural response to commence a systematic process in order to support healing.
How is it beneficial?
Not only does dry needling work in effective pain relief, but it can also reduce your intake of pain relieving medication and assists to reduce swelling. Its primary functions are pain relief by way of releasing endorphins, and to increase both blood flow and oxygenation to the injured sites.
It is typically used for various musculoskeletal issues, all of which the practice of dry needling determines as primarily caused by neuromuscular dysfunction and imbalance. These may include neck, shoulder and back pain, arm pain including tennis elbow and carpal tunnel, sports injuries, headaches, hamstring strains, buttock pain and more.
Is it different to acupuncture?
Though acupuncture and dry needling are often confused as being the same thing, it’s important to remember that they are in fact, different - each method has a unique objective. Unlike dry needling, the primary goal of acupuncture is to restore the flow of qi within the body by needle insertion into specific acupuncture points located along meridian channels. It’s not agreed that one is more effective than the other, but it is often said that if you've tried a certain method and have not attained effective relief than you should always seek an alternative. Whether used as a primary method or as an alternative, dry needling attains widespread recognition as a growing method of treatment with accumulated success.