Dry needling is a therapeutic technique in which a small filament needle is used to mechanically disrupt dysfunctional muscle, fascia and connective tissue. The most supported approach targets myofascial active and / or latent trigger points. Active trigger points can cause spontaneous pain, whereas latent trigger points elicit symptoms when compressed. A trigger point can be anywhere in the body in response to sudden injury, muscle overload, or repetitive microtrauma. These trigger points negatively alter the activity of the muscle causing scarring, myofascial pain, motor recruitment and muscle firing deficits. Many clinicians, including myself, are already using dry needling to treat a plethora of musculoskeletal disorders. Mechanically, dry needling targets the microscopic dysfunction of the muscle along with the nerves associated with it. The disruption produced by the needle also releases chemical and hormonal messengers that help balance the nervous system. Overall, the goal of DNT is to return the muscle and soft tissue structures to a “normal” electrical, chemical, and mechanical environment.
How to prepare?
It’s important to note the contraindications and precautions to dry needling therapy. Some of these include: acute cardiac arrhythmias, irregular heartbeat, spontaneous bleeding or bruising, anticoagulant therapy, unstable diabetes, HIV, Hep B or C, malignancy, recurrent infections, seizure induced by previous medical procedure. We strongly advise you to consult your medical doctor if you have any of these conditions and confirm whether DNT is safe for you. The possible risks and adverse reactions to dry needling therapy are rare, and in many cases the benefits outweigh the risks.
How many sessions of DNT is normal?
If treatment zones are found and the correct muscle groups are targeted, sub-acute conditions will improve after three – four consecutive sessions, with chronic injuries requiring five – six consecutive needling sessions.