This is a form of treatment that involves using very fine sterilised, single use disposable needles inserted into specific points of the body to reduce pain and muscle tension.
Why is it "dry"?
As opposed to inserting a needle with a fluid for injection, the needles are inserted and removed without any fluid, medication, steriod etc.
Is it safe?
It is a very safe form of treatment and serious side effects are rare with an incidence of 0.02 per 10,000 treatments. It is important however that you are treated with dry needling by a suitably qualified practitioner, such as a dry needling trained physiotherapist.
Are there side effects?
Drowsiness may occur after treatment, and some people can have mild bruising/bleeding occur.
What does dry needling treat?
A common cause of pain in the musculoskeletal system is the development of trigger points. These are areas of muscle that are either overactive or shortened, or both. This can lead to loss of muscle length and their ability to perform their job.
Dry needling can aid in the release of these trigger points in muscle by achieving a local twitch response in the muscle.
The effects can be reduced pain, improved muscle length, improved sleep, among other benefits.
Is is the same as acupuncture?
Dry needling will commonly use acupuncture needles, however a qualified acupuncturist will have a different philosophy behind where to place the needle and how to manipulate the needle. There will certainly be overlap between the two therapies in terms of benefits and desired outcomes, but a therapist who performs dry needling can not call themselves an acupuncturist.