Dry needling is a very effective treatment option in the management of the myofascial pain syndrome, MPS. We recommend to avoid using dry needling as a stand alone approach but as an addition to manual techniques particularly to manual trigger point therapy. Dry needling is not acupuncture. However the needles utilised for dry needling are acupuncture needles. The goal of dry needling is to puncture the trigger point and the taut band that are responsible for the patient's current dysfunctions or pain. Studies have shown that the elicitation of the local twitch response has an effect on the local chemical millieu of the trigger point and that it is not necessary to inject substances into the trigger point. Therefore the term "dry needling" has been established. Dry needling can be successfully used with MPS patients where it has been deemed to be a suitable treatment. It is particularly effective with athletes.
Dry Needling Techniques
- Superficial Dry Needling, SDN
- Deep Dry Needling, DDN
- Intramuscular Electrical Stimulation, IMES
FAQ about Dry Needling
- Is dry needling painful?
The insertion of the needle through the skin is usually not felt at all. It may sometimes causes a very brief burning sensation. Needling of the trigger point will cause a local twitch response. Some patients describe the local twitch response as painful but many patients say that it feels like relief.
- Is dry needling dangerous?
No. Dry Needling is a very safe method if applied by trained clinicians with excellent three dimensional anatomical knowledge. The clinician should always be aware where the needle tip is at all times. Contraindications have to be considered and when present dry needling may be inappropriate. Common side effects of dry needling are haematoma and posttreatment soreness.
- How about supervision during dry needling courses?
One of our main goals in our dry needling courses is safety. Before participants practice dry needling among each other the instructor demonstrates the needling technique and mentions all precautions.