Dry needling is the insertion of sterile single use acupuncture needles directly into myofascial (muscular) trigger points. Trigger points are tight, tender knots within the muscle which cause and contribute to pain within the body. Research studies have shown that inserting such needles into trigger points causes favourable biochemical changes within the body, which help reduce pain.
Although dry needling uses the same needles as acupuncture, it is not the same technique. Dry needling is strictly based upon Western medicine principles of treating myofascial trigger points, which are different to traditional acupuncture points.
Dry needling can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems as the treatment of muscles with this technique can reduce pain mechanisms and break down pain cycles. It is best used in combination with the specific rehabilitation programme as prescribed by your physiotherapist.