What is dry needling?
Myofascial Trigger point dry needling is a treatment to restore proper function to abnormally behaving muscles. Nodules, or knots, and tight bands that developed in muscles create localized pain and send pain signals to other locations. The affected muscles become locked and can’t function normally, which restrict movement and cause chronic pain.
Nodules develop from overuse, trauma or posture, lack of exercise, sleep disturbances, vitamin deficiencies, joint arthritis or nerves compressed at the spine or other locations. These painful areas contain biochemicals that cause pain to the local nerves and decreased oxygen flow, or ischemia, which causes the muscle fibers to lock.
Of the many treatment methods applied to painful muscles, none are quite as effective – fast acting and long-lasting – as myofascial trigger point dry needling. It short-circuits the vicious pain cycle in a very direct way that other methods cannot accomplish. The muscle contracture releases to its normal length, circulation is improved, swelling receded and the pain causing biochemicals disperse, eliminating their noxious effect on local nerves.
Dry needling utilizes sterile, thin monofilament needles, and relief is often rapid with reduction in pain and improve function.
Myofascial trigger point/tender point dry needling is a physical medicine/adjunctive/physiologic therapeutic and diagnostic/procedure whose purpose is to neutralize dysfunctional soft tissue and restore or improve muscle and fascial function. This treatment acts to mechanically disrupt physiologically walked soft tissue (trigger points). This is accomplished by inserting by hand monofilament, sterile, thin gauge needles. These soft tissue entities in both the axial and peripheral regions (soft tissue dysfunction or myofascial trigger points) are influenced by an influence the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Dry needling is an established modality historically and is well established in the literature has effective treatment of soft tissue dysfunction. Many authors attest to its effectiveness in case studies as well as statistically significant effects in controlled trials. Its use has been widespread in Europe and is gaining strength in the US has a treatment with strong cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness. This procedure is not to be confused with acupuncture, which is an oriental/Asian complete system of healing whose theories focus on the use of specific points, meridians and the concept of Qi. The dry needling procedure is based on Western concepts of anatomy, physiology, neurology and biomechanics. The only common element is the choice of procedural tool, the monofilament needle.
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