Dry needling is a clinical approach utilizing fine needles inserted into tightened muscle tissue (also known as trigger points) to decrease muscle tension and therefore decrease pain.
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. Over a few sessions, the trigger point becomes deactivated and a reduction of pain and restoration of normal muscle length and function can be observed.
Since the needles used are quite thin, most patients will not feel the needle penetrate the skin. A muscle that is shortened or that contains active trigger points is more sensitive then a healthy, non-affected muscle. They may feel a slight discomfort once it advances into the muscle, often times feeling a sensation similar to a muscle cramp, which is called the “twitch response”.
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.
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