What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is the use of very fine acupuncture needles. When done well it can be a great method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function.
It is a procedure intended to specifically target and restore muscle function, with an emphasis on improving tissue healing and restoring muscles to their normal resting length.
How does Dry Needling work?
Needling in a painful ‘trigger point’ or muscular knot may provoke a “twitch” response from the muscle. This is both diagnostic as well as therapeutic, because healthy muscle tissue will not “twitch” when stimulated by the needle. Once a “twitch” response has been elicited, the muscle fibers in that area relax, ‘inflammation’ is reduced and circulation improves.
What will I feel during my dry needling?
Generally, needle insertion is not painful and some people will not have any pain at all. When a "twitch" response is elicited however, there may be brief pain, but it is generally mild. This has been described as a cramping sensation. If there is anything other than mild pain during needling your practitioner will not hesitate in removing the needle.
During needling some patients may experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling or relaxation. Following this technique some muscle soreness may be felt up to 24-48 hrs. Your practitioner may recommend heat or ice depending of the needling site and whether you have an acute or chronic injury and generally you are encouraged to drink plenty of water to help reduces the soreness.
If you have a fear of needles or are overly anxious about needles then your therapist will not use the technique.