Dry Needling is a term used for a therapeutic treatment procedure that involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the area of the body, which produces pain and typically contains a Trigger Point. There is no injectable solution and typically the needle that is used is very thin. Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it has and is advanced into the muscle, the discomfort can vary drastically. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort upon insertion of the needle; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp -- which is often referred to as a 'twitch response'.
The twitch response that happens during a dry needling session also has a biochemical characteristic to it which likely affects the reaction of the muscle, symptoms and response of the tissue. Along with the health of the tissue, the expertise of the practitioner can also attribute to the variation of discomfort and outcome. The patient may only feel the cramping sensation locally or they may feel a referral of pain and/or similar symptoms for which they are seeking treatment. A reproduction of their pain can be a helpful diagnostic indicator of the cause of the patient's symptoms. Patients soon learn to recognize and even welcome this sensation, as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle.
Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms, overall health of the patient, and experience level of the practitioner.
Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention, with very few side effects. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. Dry needling is a form of intramuscular myofascial therapy that when used in conjunction with treatments that are intermuscular such as A.R.T. and Graston as well as superficial stretching techniques the outcomes become better and better. The Active Wellness team is certified in all of these and more.