What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a revolutionary form of therapy to treat myofascial pain and biomechanical dysfunction.  Myofascial pain is the technical term for the pain caused by tight muscles.  Dry needling goes by various names, some of which are trigger point therapy, intramuscular stimulation, and intramuscular manual therapy.  The reason it’s called “dry” needling is because there is nothing being injected into the muscles.  Acupuncture needles are used to pass through the skin and massage out the trigger point causing the pain you may be feeling.

What are Trigger Points?

The primary role of muscle tissue is to contract and relax.  Sometimes, the muscle fibers can stay contracted.  When that happens within an area of the muscle, that cluster of contracted muscle fiber within a muscle is what we call a trigger point.  When trigger points occur, they can cause pain in areas that are, usually, in a different location than the trigger point causing the pain.  For example, feeling pain down the leg may be caused by one of the muscles above your hip joint.  If a muscle can’t fully relax, it can’t do full work once it contracts, which is why they also decrease the muscle’s ability to do full work and achieve its potential.  This can cause other muscles to compensate for the lack of work being done by the already contracted muscle, setting in motion motor control and movement pattern dysfunctions.

Why is an Acupuncture Needle Used?

When people think about needles, they typically think about syringes, which can be very thin or very thick.  The thicker the needle, the more discomfort you feel.  However, because acupuncture needles are extremely thin.  Acupuncture needles, too, come in various thicknesses, yet they are still thinner than syringes.  Acupuncture needles, also, are easily manipulated because they can bend while under the skin, allowing the practitioner to reach more of the trigger point without having to tap the needle back into the skin more than is necessary.

Does Dry Needling Work?

In short, yes.

The goal of dry needling a patient’s trigger points is to release the active trigger points. When the trigger point releases, not only will the pain subside, but because contracted muscle can’t work as well as a relaxed muscle, overall function of that muscle improves as well.

Research supports that dry needling can decrease pain, decrease muscle tension, and improve muscle function. By having decreased muscle tension in certain muscles of the body, it allows for better chiropractic treatment outcomes.

How Common is Dry Needle Trigger Point Therapy?

Dry needling is a growing therapy among healthcare practitioners, especially physical therapists and progressive or evidence-based chiropractors. Currently, the only chiropractor in Olney, MD to offer this treatment is Dr. Bobby Mozafari.  

If you’re in pain or want to maximize your performance, stop by and receive professional, expert results from the only chiropractor Olney has to offer certified in dry needling at Integrated Sport, Spine & Rehab! Click here to request an appointment today!

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