The technique of dry needling for myofascial pain was first introduced in 1979 by a Czech physician named Karel Lewit. It is a considered an ‘all- natural’ technique but it is not commonly done in the U.S. at this time. However, it is available in 14 U.S. states as of March 2011.
Dry needling is a type of myofascial therapy used in the treatment of the pain that is associated with any medical condition that causes myofascial pain. Dry needling for myofascial pain involves the inserted of very thin, solid filament needles deep into the muscle or myofascial trigger point.
The insertion of the needle results in the release of the myofascial trigger point. This, then, results in pain relief. There is also the re-establishment of healthy physiology of the myofascial, the muscles and the ligaments.
Acupuncture vs. Dry Needling For Myofascial Pain
Many acupuncturists have disputed that dry needle technique appears to be an acupuncture therapy that only requires minimal training. While there are a lot of resources that states that dry needling and acupuncture are two different things, there are actually some similarities.
Both therapies utilize solid filament needles inserted into different areas of the body to obtain a physical response.
The major difference is that dry needle treatment is based firmly on Western science, while dry needle acupuncture depends on an ancient Eastern foundation involving body energy meridians.
Also, dry needling practitioners insert needles directly into the myofascial trigger spots. On the other hand, acupuncturists select from a group of accepted and recognized locations on the body.
How Dry Needling for Myofascial Pain Works
Dry needling for myofacial pain is a treatment therapy intended to alleviate the pain. It involves the insertion of a solid filament needle through the skin and into muscle tissue to what is known as a trigger spot.
The goal of this treatment is to place the needle directly into or above a myofascial trigger spot. The trigger point is a hyper-irritable point in the skeletal muscle that is causing the pain and motor dysfunction.
So how is dry needling supposed to work? Dry needling therapy is known to relieve pain through the body’s mechanical and biochemical response to the twitching of the myofascial trigger point.
Issues on Dry Needling for Myofascial Pain
Practitioners usually describe dry needling technique as a procedure that involves the insertion of a needle, which is either painless or similar to a “little electrical shock. But what takes place after the procedure?
In a study printed in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, some of patients who underwent this therapy experienced some dry needling side effects, which involved post-injection pain on the myofascial trigger points. The pain was described to be drastically greater in intensity and longer duration compared to a similar group that received lidocaine injections in their myofascial trigger points.
Regardless of the severity of the pain felt after the treatment, heat or ice packs can really help. Avoiding gentle stretches and physically demanding activities are also advised for a few days.
Even though dry needling has some controversy when it comes to its effectiveness in managing myofascial pain, there are also a number of people who can attest to its effectiveness.
When it comes to dry needling for myofascial pain, always remember that whatever side you choose to believe in, the effectiveness of any treatment may vary from person to person.