What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is an invasive procedure whereby solid filament (acupuncture) needles are inserted
into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial triggerpoint.
A myofascial triggerpoint (sometimes known as a knot) consists of multiple contraction knots,
which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
What can Dry Needling help?
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Muscles are thought to be a
primary contributing factor to the symptoms. Conditions which respond to dry needling include,
but are not limited to:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The treatment of muscles has the gratest effect on reducing pain mechanisms in the nervous system.
How does Dry Keedling work?
When inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favourable biochemical changes which assist
in reducing pain. It is essential to get a Local Twitch Response which is a spinal cord reflex and
is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.
How does Dry Needling stop this cycle?
A spasmed muscle becomes a damaged muscle. Spasm reduces blood flow in the muscle. This
means less oxygen and nutrients to the muscle. Muscle fibres die off and get replaced by fibrous
scar tissue. This in turn holds the muscle tight, prevents muscle metabolites from leaving the
muscle and causes continued spasm and pain.
Putting a needle into a spasmed muscle causes the muscle to relax.
What does Dry Needling feel like?
Generally, needle insertion is not felt, the local twitch response may provoke a very brief pain
response. This has been described as an electric shock or a cramping sensation. During
treatment, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling or
The benefits of Dry Keedling frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition.
Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as
well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
What should I do after Dry Keedling?
Light stretches but this may depend on the Injury.
Are the keedles sterile ?
Yes, only sterile disposable needles are used.
Are there any side effects?
Most patients report soreness in the treated area and referral zone lasting from a few hours to
Side effects are very rare but when they occur, the most frequent and the most serious is that of a
pneumothorax. This is where a needle pierces the lung leading to a full or partial collapse. This
happens mostly when a needle is inserted into the Trapezius muscle in a certain way and too
How long does it take for the procedure to work?
Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. We are trying to cause
mechanical and biochemical changes without any medication. Therefore, we are looking for a
cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed.
Where does Dry Keedling fit in the entire rehabilitation programme?
More frequently, dry keedling is needed at the beginning to help break the pain cycle then other
treatment modalities are introduced.
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