What is dry needling?

At APSS we actually perform dry needling technique, which is different to acupuncture. Many patients believe and ask for/about acupuncture, which is where fine needles are inserted in the skin at specific points along what are considered to be lines of energy (meridians).

dry needling

This then leads them to ask the question: What is dry needling? This technique also works with  fine filament needles, but instead of working along meridians, the needle is inserted  into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point”. The aim of Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. The needle used is very thin and most patients do not even feel it penetrate the skin. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with the insertion of this needle. However, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp – ‘the twitch response’. The patient may also feel a reproduction of their “familiar” pain. This can be  a helpful diagnostic indicator for the practitioner attempting to diagnose the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Patients soon learn to recognise and even welcome this sensation.When the needle is inserted into a muscles trigger point, it results in deactivation of this particular trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length function to the involved muscle. It does not involve the injection of any foreign substances into your body.

Dry needling is an effective treatment for both acute and chronic pain of neuropathic (nerve related) origin and comes with very few side effects, if any.  This technique is unequalled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. Some patients report feeling a “tingling” post treatment, which can be felt for up to 6 to 12 hours. 

Our practitioners at APSS have had years of experience implementing this technique, and any questions regarding its application are welcomed.