Dry needling is an effective treatment for myofascial trigger and tender points.
Dry needling refers to the therapeutic effect of applying needle stimulation directly to trigger points without the use of injection. Dry needling utilizes a very thin flexible solid filament needle, as is used in the practice of acupuncture. It mechanically disrupts the integrity of the dysfunctional endplates within the trigger area, resulting in mechanical and physiological resolution of the TrPs. It also shows a strong pain-inhibitory role by opioids released through needle stimulation of A-delta receptors.
Simply put, the needle physically and neurologically disrupts the tension and pressure within the involved tissues. It helps unlock or release the tissue encouraging a return to a more normal and improved level of function.
Dry Needling Is Not Acupuncture
The approach of dry needling is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles. Dry needling is totally based on modern scientific neurophysiology and anatomy. It is purely for pain relief and based on recent understandings in pain science.
Acupuncture follows rules and beliefs that have been established since ancient times, and is based on theories of meridians, energy, pulse points tongue whereas dry needling ignores ancient acupuncture philosophy. Most, if not all of TCM, is based on pre-scientific ideas.
1.Cummings T, White A. Needling therapies in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001; 82: 986-92.
2.Ga H, Choi J, Park C, Yooh H. Acupuncture needling versus lidocaine injection of trigger points in myofascial pain syndrome in elderly patients – a randomised trial. Acupunct Med. 2007; 25: 130-6.
3.Barbagli P, Bollettin R, Ceccherelli F. Acupuncture (dry needle) versus neural therapy (local anesthesia) in the treatment of benign back pain. Immediate and long-term results. Minerva Med. 2003; 94: 17-25.
4.Hong C. Lidocaine injection versus dry needling to myofascial trigger point. The importance of the local twitch response. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1994; 73: 256-63.
5.Furlan A, van Tulder M, Cherkin D, Acupuncture and dry needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Review. 2005; (1): CD001351.