What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a unique procedure intended to specifically treat particular part/fibre of muscles. Dry needling alleviates tension in muscles and promotes healing and restoring normal tissue function. This is important as continued activity with poor muscle function may lead to further tissue damage and increased pain. When Dry needling is combined with conventional treatment options, it can be an influential method to accelerate pain reduction, healing and the restoration of normal tissue function.
The exact mechanisms of dry needling are complex and not fully known. However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the positive effect inserting a needle has on the electrical and chemical communications that take place in our nervous system. These include inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in our spinal cord and increasing the release of our own pain relieving chemicals within our brains. The pain relieving effect of dry needling is gaining strong support in mainstream Western medicine, with public hospital systems now directly funding its use.
What should I feel?
Generally, needle insertion should be no pain or slightly painful; the local twitch response or sudden slight contraction of the muscle may provoke a very brief pain response. This has been described as an ‘electric shock’ or a ‘cramping’ sensation. A therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction. Most patients find this little strange rather than painful. Patients might experience muscle soreness up to 24-48 hrs post treatment.