Is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. It is a technique developed for relaxing overactive muscles, which contain trigger points. In simple terms, the treatment involves needling of a muscle’s trigger points without injecting any substance.
The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles. It should not to be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture. However, since the same filament needles are used in both dry needling and acupuncture, the confusion is understandable.
What happens when a trigger point is dry needled?
A twitch response often occurs when the needle is inserted into a trigger point and is often seen as a sign the treatment will be helpful.
The theory behind the advantageous benefit of a local twitch response is thought to be related to rapid depolarization of the involved muscles fibres which results in local twitches. Once this spontaneous electrical activity subsides, the pain and dysfunction decrease dramatically.
Is the procedure painful?
Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes, we only use sterile disposable needles.
What side effects can I expect after the treatment?
Mild soreness is common after the procedure. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.
What should I do after having the procedure done?
Our recommendations vary depending on the amount of soreness you have and on the individual response to the treatment. Recommendations may include applying heat or ice over the area, gentle stretches and modifications of activities or analgesic medications such as Paracetamol.