Dry Needling. What Is It?

Dry Needling. What Is It?

close-up of accupuncture needles in a woman's forehead

Dry Needling is also known as Myofascial Dry Needling (MDN). It is one of the many techniques that can be utilised by a Myotherapist to effectively treat their client, but often the client is unsure what to expect. To understand why and how MDN is used as a treatment modality, we need to understand the foundation of the theory and recognise the differences that exist between trigger points and acupressure. Trigger points are often confused with acupuncture points. Whilst they are different in their definition and presentation there is a high degree of correspondence between the two. Trigger points are palpable, hyperirritable spots found in skeletal muscles and often described as a ‘knot’ by clients. Acupuncture points however are prescribed points along energy meridians that are defined by ancient Chinese documents. Trigger point knowledge is used as a foundation for Myofascial Dry needling whereas Acupuncture is based around acupressure points. Myofascial Dry Needling involves multiple advances of a fine filament needle into a trigger point. The aim of dry needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. It can also be used to establish a painless range of movement, pain relief, improves kinaesthetic sense, treat deep muscles that are close to neurovascular bundles and put less pressure on the client and therapists’ body. Most clients do not even feel dry needling penetrate the skin. A healthy muscle will feel very little discomfort, however if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the client may feel a sensation like a muscle cramp -the twitch response. The reproduction of the client’s pain can also be a helpful diagnostic indicator for the practitioner attempting to diagnose the cause of the patient’s symptoms.

Dry Needling. What Does It Treat?

It is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects when performed by qualified therapist with extensive MDN practice. This technique is a way to help eliminate neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. It is frequently used to treat conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Back pain, Headaches, Migraines, Joint pain, Osteoarthritis, Inflammatory conditions such as tendonitis, Post surgery conditions and Acute or chronic trigger point pain. Our Myotherapy students at VFA Learning would love to introduce you to the benefits of incorporating dry needling into your regular treatments. Book into your closest VFA student clinic to experience MDN for yourself under the guidance of our highly skilled teaches.