Dry Needling: What You Should Know
Dry needling is a musculoskeletal treatment technique we use to treat myofascial pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle, known as trigger points. Another term commonly used to describe dry needling is intramuscular manual therapy. Dry needling is not acupuncture although it can use the same needles the diagnostic criteria is completely different.
What Kind of Needles Are Used?
Dry needling involves a thin filiform needle that penetrates the skin and stimulates underlying myofascial trigger points and muscular and connective tissues. The sterile needles are one-time use needles and are disposed of in a medical sharps collector after use.
Why Dry Needling?
In cases when dry needling is used, it is typically a technique that’s part of a larger treatment plan. Dr. Farrah uses dry needling with the goal of releasing or inactivating trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. Preliminary research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles. This can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehabilitation.