Dry Needling is a technique inspired by acupuncture and utilises acupuncture needles to treat muscle pain or myofascial pain. Specifically it can be used to treat trigger points in muscles. Trigger points are tender spots in tight bands of muscle which cause pain when pressed. Often these areas can be the source of many pains in the body and can even refer pain from one area to another (ie. a trigger point in the hip could refer pain into the hamstring or calf).
There are many theories as to why dry needling works so well, the common belief is that when the needle enters a tight trigger point the pain causes a local excitation and then inhibition of the muscle, also known as the “twitch response”. This inhibition relaxes the painful muscle and gives a rapid relief of pain, tension, range of movement and normalises movement patterns of the muscles in that area.
Dry needling is used in conjunction with other techniques to achieve the best outcomes as the underlying cause as to why the trigger point developed in the first place needs to be addressed otherwise the trigger point will merely return in a matter of time