Dry needling involves a manual therapy technique utilising a very fine needle similar to that used in acupuncture (called a filament) to stimulate tight and tender muscular trigger points that can cause pain, loss of movement, and weakness.
Dry needling is effective in treating a wide variety of injuries such as shoulder impingement, neck and lower back pain, tennis elbow, and foot pain with running.
How does Dry Needling Work?
One of the theories behind Dry Needling suggests after an injury, chemicals are released into the injured muscle to begin the healing process. These same chemicals, if not cleared from the muscle by the body within a reasonable time, may cause a sustained muscular contraction. This contraction is like a cramp and can cause loss of movement and weakness, typically associated with an ache or burning sensation. Dry Needling stimulates the tight portion of the muscle to contract, which is followed by a reflexive relaxation of the muscle.
Does Dry Needling Hurt?
The needle used is between 0.25-0.3 mm in circumference (less than 0.1mm thick). The average needle used in a doctor surgery is greater than 0.4mm. The average person will feel the Physiotherapist tap the needle into place but not the needle itself. Dry Needling is not a pain-free technique and some people report a feeling of the needle still being under the skin after it has been taken out for a short time after the session. That said, some people will experience no sensation and some will experience a strong sensation. Dry Needling does NOT involve injecting substances into the body.