Dry needling is a therapeutic technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in the body, also known as trigger points or myofascial trigger points. This technique is used to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by tight muscles, injuries, or chronic conditions. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling targets the muscles directly and aims to release tension and promote healing.
During a dry needling session, a practitioner will use a thin, solid needle to puncture the skin and reach the underlying muscle. The needle is inserted into the trigger point, where it creates a small lesion. This process stimulates the muscle to contract and relax, which can help release tension and improve blood flow to the area. The needles used in dry needling are similar to acupuncture needles, but the two techniques are distinct. Dry needling is based on Western medicine and anatomy, while acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that focuses on balancing the body’s energy or qi.
The benefits of dry needling include pain relief, improved range of motion, and reduced muscle tension. This technique can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including neck and back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, and sciatica. By targeting specific trigger points, dry needling can help reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation, and promote healing. This technique is also non-invasive and has few side effects, making it a safe and effective option for many people.