Dry Needling

Dry needling involves inserting a special, sterile, and thin needle into trigger points within tight muscle bands.

What are trigger points?

A trigger point is a tender, stiff area within a tight muscle band. It can cause referred pain, restrict range of motion, and lead to stiffness, weakness, or motor control issues.
An active trigger point is responsible for current or past symptoms (pain familiar to the patient). It is highly sensitive to palpation and produces characteristic referred pain specific to the muscle.
A latent trigger point is sensitive to touch but does not cause pain in the patient on a daily basis. It can disrupt motor function in the muscle and its synergists.

Trigger points can result from overloaded muscle-fascial structures, past injuries or surgeries, congenital conditions (such as hypermobility), insufficient loading, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies (B12, C), and chronic stress.

What is dry needling?

During the therapy, the therapist palpates the tight muscle band and the stiff, painful point within it. They then stimulate this point to check for the presence of referred pain that reflects the patient’s symptoms. By inserting the needle into the trigger point and applying dynamic movements, the therapist aims to induce a local muscle contraction. This leads to the destruction of dysfunctional motor endplates, a decrease in pain substances within the tight muscle band, and stimulation of cell regeneration and remodeling. As a result, the patient experiences reduced pain symptoms and significant relaxation of the treated tissues.
Dry needling can also be used on scars, ligaments, and tendons.

It is important to note that dry needling is just one part of the therapy, and to achieve satisfactory results, it should be combined with manual therapy and appropriate exercises.

When do we use dry needling?

It is used for pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction, including:
– Trigger point therapy of muscle-fascial trigger points
– Headaches
– Back pain
– Pain associated with scars
– Tendinopathies
– Jumper’s knee, runner’s knee
– Golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow
– Dysfunction of the rotator cuff
– Pain in the patellofemoral joint
– Ankle sprains

Contraindications include:
– Needle phobia
– Active cancer
– Infections
– Sensory disturbances
– Patients with coagulation disorders (requires doctor’s consent)
– Skin lesions and open wounds
– Acute inflammation
– Severe atherosclerosis

Potential side effects include:
– Soreness in the needled area (sometimes feeling of “muscle soreness”)
– Feeling of increased tissue tension
– Minor bruising at the needling site
– Temporary increased sensitivity lasting about 1-2 days

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