What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a technique that uses an acupuncture needle to stimulate the nerve that supplies a particular muscle. The effect is to reduce muscle tightness, reduce sensitivity and pain as well as improve blood flow, joint range of motion and assist the body to heal. This tight band of muscle is called a Trigger Point.
It is important to note that Dry Needling is NOT acupuncture, the two methods are very different.
Trigger Points are characterised by:
  • localised or referred pain (travelling to another area)
  • muscle tightness
  • weakness
  • restricted joint range of motion
Trigger points develop in muscle as a result of:
  • poor posture
  • fatigue
  • repetitive activity or trauma
  • stress
  • degeneration of the spine
Testing active trigger points with an EMG needle has shown that there is uncontrolled muscle contraction, leading to limited range of joint motion and a reduction in normal movement and function. 

Recent research has reported that there are numerous inflammatory and pain producing chemicals in an active trigger point causing pain and dysfunction of the muscle, affecting the local nerves and joints.
The dry needle technique has been shown to decrease or completely reduce the presence of a trigger point in a muscle and reduce or completely eliminate the irritating chemicals in that active trigger point. This release can immediately improve range of motion, decrease pain and improve function.