Dry needling is a commonly used technique in physiotherapy practice to help relieve muscle pain, release tension, and ease movement. Dry needling involves inserting thin, solid needles to target trigger points in muscles. Trigger points are knots or tight spots within a muscle that can cause pain and restrict movement. No medication or substance is injected during dry needling treatment; rather it's the mechanical action of the needle itself that helps the muscle relax.
Dry needling can be beneficial when used in addition to other physiotherapy techniques like exercise prescription and manual therapy. Essentially, it serves to initiate a neuromuscular “reset”. This can either draw attention to stimulate the muscle before exercising, or help it to relax after a period of exertion. This technique can be particularly useful when working on deeper muscle groups that may be harder to access through hands-on therapy alone.
During a dry needling session, the physiotherapist palpates the area in order to identify a trigger point. Once identified, they then insert the needle. This may cause a small twitch response in the muscle. The twitching helps release tension, therefore improving the patient’s mobility and functioning.
In summary, dry needling is a technique used by physiotherapists to target muscle knots and help relieve tightness. It involves using a thin needle to target specific areas. When performed by trained professionals, dry needling is a highly effective way to release muscle tension and alleviate discomfort, ultimately helping you move and feel better.