What is dry needling?

In this blog series, we continue to look in closer details at the types of treatment primarily used at Fitlife Sports Massage. Every few weeks, we will cover a different modality.

Up this week is dry needling…

Dry needling is a pain reduction technique involving the insertion of very fine filament needles through the skin and into the muscle tissue, with the aim of reaching specific “trigger points” which can become active through overuse, repetitive movement or injury.

It’s an effective treatment for reducing neck and back pain, sports injuries and general muscular tightness.

It’s often implemented at the start of a treatment program as a way of breaking the pain cycle, so that other techniques can be introduced to the pain reduction/rehabilitation process.

It is sometimes referred to as “clinical” “medical” or “Western” acupuncture due to the use of filament being inserted into the skin and tissue, but the two disciplines are actually quite different (that’s a whole other blog post!)

Although it’s not known exactly how dry needling works, it’s believed that by touching the trigger point the needle disrupts the pain receptors than run through the body, therefore reducing pain levels. It also releases the contracted muscle tissue (which is known as the “trigger point”).

It’s known as “dry” needling because unlike hypodermic needles there is no substance injected into the tissue - it’s the needle itself which works the magic (under the guidance of a professional, of course). The filament needle is very,very fine.

Dry needling, when done by a professional, (that’s us!) is absolutely safe and only involves the use of single use, sterile filament needles. You may feel a bit of pain around the site of the needle entry site for a few days.

At Fitlife Sports Massage, we most often use dry needling for treating tennis elbow, golf elbow (medial and lateral epicondylitis), hamstring, quad and calf issues. It’s technique that can be applied to a lot of ailments!

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