What is Dry Needling?
Our physiotherapists may use dry needling as part of your treatment. In the physiotherapy setting this is more correctly called dry needling or anatomical dry needling.
The physiotherapist will palpate over the symptomatic area feeling for muscle knots – medically termed trigger points. These are tight and painful points in muscles with hypersensitized pain receptors and cause local as well as a referred pain pattern. By inserting a micro-fine needle into the trigger point a nerve is stimulated called an Alpha-delta nerve. This sends a message to the spinal cord and blocks the receptors, preventing the Charlie nerves from the trigger point communicating with the spinal cord. This then causes a relaxation of the trigger point and at the same time causes the body to release its own analgesia known as endogenous opiods as well as anti-inflammatory mediators.
The result is that the trigger point relaxes and the pain caused by it ceases. You may get an instantaneous result, but more likely, given that is takes time to develop an active and painful trigger point, it can take several treatments to completely resolve it, normally in combination with other physiotherapy techniques.
Dry needling is a comfortable and very effective technique.