What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a treatment that is most commonly used to address conditions associated with the neuromusculoskeletal system. Most of the conditions are related to spinal dysfunction and the changes that result in dysfunction of other joints, soft tissues of the body, and alteration of peripheral or centralized neurological function (such as fibromyalgia) of the higher centers located in the brain. It is believed that pain points are caused by excessive release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings. Prolonged release results in chronic shortening and contractures of muscle fibers, coupled with decreased circulation leading to hypoxia (oxygen starvation) and local ischemia (lack of oxygen in tissues). Hormone like substances (such as prostaglandins, bradykinins, cytokines, and histamine are released) which then sensitize the sensory fibers of the muscles, likely account for the specific point tenderness, swelling, pain, stiffness, redness and warmth that are commonly seen. The bombardment of pain endings by these chemicals leads to central sensitization of the higher nerve centers. The result is an increase in the excitability of nerves within the central nervous system that elicits pain hypersensitivity, so that normal stimulation (light touch, mild pressure, etc.) begin to produce abnormally higher pain responses.
Dry needling created a tiny lesion in the soft tissues (skin, muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments) and helps inflammation, contractions, trophic changes (abnormalities of the skin, hair, nails, subcutaneous tissues, and bone caused by peripheral nerve lesions), adhesions, scarring, blockage or micro circulation and biomechanical imbalance.
Dry needling is not acupuncture. Acupuncture is the placement of needles in the skin that is based on a Chinese belief in meridians. Treatment of points along meridians is believed to affect organs of the body. Dry needling tissues of the body is to primarily treat neuromusculoskeletal pain, spasm and inflammation.