Dry needling, also referred to as trigger point dry needling, is a physical therapy technique using solid filiform needles to relieve muscle pain. Dry needling is known to help a number of different conditions, including neck/back pain, shoulder pain, tennis/golfers elbow, headaches, hip and gluteal pain, knee pain, Achilles tendonitis/tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, muscular strains/ligament sprains and chronic muscle pain. The procedure involves using needle therapy (without the use of solution) to trigger the Local Twitch Response (LTR) in the affected area, decreasing inflammation, creating better movement and alleviating tension and pain.
Dry needling is different in philosophy from acupuncture. While dry needling and acupuncture use the same sterile needles at similar affected points, they differ mainly in purpose and practice. Dry needling is based on western medical research, as well as anatomical and neurophysiologic principles, whereas acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Does it hurt? Trigger point dry needling therapy is a gentle procedure; you may not even feel the needle enter. The stimulation does elicit the Local Twitch Response, which is mildly painful, followed by a warm euphoric sensation. The cut in the muscle fiber helps activate an immune response that causes an inflammatory reaction, not just in the affected area but all over the body. The reaction systematically helps to reduce inflammation and cause the muscles to relax.
Dry needling has been known, especially, as a treatment for myofascial pain syndrome. The technique of dry needling targets hypersensitive or tight spots in the muscles, known as trigger points, which are the areas of pain associated with this disorder. The technique is safe and, unlike other treatments for myofascial pain, does not involve the use of drugs or solutions. To learn more about dry needling or similar physical therapy techniques for muscular pain, contact the specialists at Sheltering Arms in Richmond, VA.
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