What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a broad term used to differentiate “non-injection” needling from the practice of “injection needling” which utilises a hyperdermic syringe and usually involves the injection of an agent such as saline, local anaesthetic or corticosteroid into the tissue or specific anatomical structures.
In contrast to this, dry needling utilises a solid, filament needle, as is used in the practice of acupuncture, and relies on the stimulation of specific reactions in the target tissue for its therapeutic effect.
The term dry needling is also used to differentiate the use of needling in a western culture from the use of needling in oriental culture which is referred to as acupuncture.
How does it work?
Dry needling helps to reduce pain and tension thereby helping the muscles and other tissues to heal. It involves the insertion of needles into trigger points, which are tight bands of muscle. Needling can help to release trigger point tightness, enhance blood circulation and assist with the release of pain mediating chemicals and endorphins. This helps to reduce pain and promote healing.
Physiotherapists often combine it with other treatment techniques to achieve superior results faster.