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Dry Needling

What is Dry needling?

page3_pic3Trigger point dry needle

Dry needling is technique that involves the insertion of a sterilesingle use acupuncture needle (about the width of a human hair) into a Myofascial Trigger Point (MTRPs), when the needle penetrates the trigger point a local twitch response can be elicited, the aim of the therapist is to achieve a twitch response during dry needling. The twitch response intensity can differ depending on contributing factors of that trigger point and the technique used with the application of the needling.

Why is it termed Dry Needling?

Dry needling is commonly known for the treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points (MTRPs), in the past MRTPs were treated with a local anaesthetic injection (wet needling) into the trigger point. After further studies in 1979 it was observed that the analgesic effects were actually coming from the needle penetration itself rather than the anaesthetic alone. The effects were described as the needle effect and from then on the procedure was approached with the use of solid needles such as acupuncture needles, and was termed Dry Needling from then forward.

What are Trigger Points?

Myofascial trigger points (MTRPs), also known as trigger points, or muscle knots, are defined as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. The spot is tender when pressed, and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomena. Trigger points can be defined as being active or latent depending on their clinical characteristics. An active trigger point can be symptom can present with regional/referral pain pattern that can be related to activity although it can be constant. Occasionally it can be worse at night and can interfere with sleep. It is tender with palpation and elicits a pain referral pattern recognisable to the patients complaint.

The most significant characteristic to note about trigger points is that they havve the power to mimic many different types of not just painful conditions such as Sciatica, Migraines, Tooth aches, nerve dysfunctions etc, but also medical conditions in how their patterns and symptomology presents.

Common conditions treated with dry needling.

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Tooth Aches
  • Muscle Tears/Shortness
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia pain syndrome
  • Neck Pain/Stiffness
  • Cervical nerve impingement
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic/Acute back pain
  • Hip/Groin pain and conditions
  • Sciatica
  • Hamstring conditions/tightness
  • Knee pain and conditions
  • Plantar Fasciitis
In exercise and sports medicine the use of dry needling is becoming more widespread, and is used in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

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