What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling (also called trigger point dry needling or myofascial trigger point dry needling) is a treatment technique used by medical professionals to release active, painful trigger points and create positive change in the central nervous system. The clinician inserts an extremely fine, monofilament needle into the targeted tissue. The appropriate needle size is determined based on the depth of the targeted tissue. Dry needling has been a viable treatment technique for myofascial pain since the 1940’s, and has continued to improve with modern medical advances. Thanks largely to the physician-researcher Janet Travell M.D., the use of dry needling has become more popular today.
How does it Work?
Muscles can develop knotted areas called trigger points. When these trigger points cause a pain signal, they are called active trigger points. They can be a source of referred pain (pain that affects another part of the body). Within the trigger point, the muscle is shortened, overlapped, and chemically bound into a tight knot. When the needle is inserted into the trigger point, it releases the chemical bond between muscle fibers. This allows the muscle to release and return to its normal resting length. Hence, you get better mobility and control of your muscles.
Physical Therapy Approach
While dry needling can be an important part of physical therapy treatment, it is best used in combination with your normal physical therapy regimen that includes exercise, range of motion, stretching, posture correction, soft tissue mobilization, and breathing strategies. Interested? Call us at 804-918-8515 to be scheduled with Shaunna Mayers, PT, DPT.