The aim of Trigger Point Dry Needling is to reduce muscle pain and dysfunction by releasing tight areas in the muscle known as myofascial trigger points.
These are tender nodules within taut bands of muscle. Normal muscle does not contain these taut bands. Once activated, these trigger points may cause disturbed muscle function, muscle weakness and restricted range of motion, as well as local or referred pain.
These trigger points can develop as a result of overload in a muscle, overuse due to poor postures or repetitive active loading, or when the body is in a stressed and tense state.
Dry needling directly treats the body's neuromuscular system.The needles used are "dry" meaning they have no ability to inject or withdraw fluid. This technique was first described scientifically in the 1970s.
What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?
Acupuncture and Dry Needling techniques appear similar, but their basis and use in treatment are quite different. Acupuncture can be effective when conventional treatments have failed. Acupuncture aims to treat pain by stimulating the movement or flow of Chi (energy). When Chi is blocked, pain and poor body function results. The aim of Dry Needling is to change the tone of the affected muscle, thereby improving movement and reducing pain.
Dry Needling is used worldwide by manual therapists to treat orthopaedic and musculoskeletal conditions. It aims to:
- Improve joint mobility
- Reduce muscle tightness
- Decrease pain and irritation
- Ease tension and heachaches
- Facilitate return to full functional activities
Dry Needling can treat the following musculoskeletal problems where the muscles are thought to be the primary contributing factor to the symptoms:
- Neck and back pain
- Jaw pain
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer's elbow
- Buttock and leg pain
- Hamstring strains
- Knee pain
- Chronic Calf tightness and night time cramping
- Foot and heel pain
If you are not a fan of needles, don't worry! There are many other physiotherapeutic techniques that we can use to help restore painfree function.