Dry Needling is a technique that can be used as a part of Osteopathic treatment. Dry Needling uses small solid needles to release tight muscles (also known as trigger points), with the goal of permanently reducing muscle pain and connective tissue dysfunction. Dry Needling technique directly treats the neuromuscular system, affecting muscle tightness, joint mobility, and symptoms of pain and irritation.
Trigger Points are knots of muscle which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. When the needle is inserted into the trigger point, a local twitch response will be elicited. This is an involuntary reflex in which the muscle fibres in the tight muscle band contract. The twitch indicates the proper placement of the needle in the trigger point, and by allowing this to happen, the tissue is left to release and return to its normal resting position.
Dry Needling is generally not painful, but you may feel a slight pinch as the needle is tapped into the skin. Once inserted the needles are manipulated by your Osteopath until a sensation is felt – most often manifesting as an ache. Techniques vary, from inserting the needle and leaving it in for 15 minutes or so with occasional manipulation, to constant peppering (pecking) of the needle into the region. The manipulation may occur more than once during the treatment.
Dry Needling can be an effective form of treatment for: