What is dry needling?
The goal of dry needling is simple: to decrease pain, improve range of motion, and restore function. It’s called dry needling because nothing is actually injected into the muscle. The needle goes into the muscle to mechanically disrupt “trigger points” and is quickly removed causing a reflex relaxation of the muscle. The needles are very fine gauge, sterile and single-use only.
What is a trigger point?
Trigger points are very sensitive spots located in a taut band of muscle that can produce spontaneous pain. These points are thought to be created through muscle overuse. Anytime an activity exceeds a muscles capacity without enough post activity recovery, the opportunity occurs for a trigger point to develop. This can happen over a long period of time like sitting at a desk all day or quickly like lifting a barbell overhead.
What is a Pain Referral Pattern?
Trigger points often cause referred pain to other regions of your body. A commonly seen pattern is experiencing arm pain due to a trigger point in one of the rotator cuff muscles called the Infraspinatus.
The Infraspinatus muscle is just one example of a muscle’s pain referral pattern. Other referral patterns have been recognized throughout the body. Dry needling can be a simple and effective way to treat the source of these pain referrals.