Dry needling is a therapeutic technique which involves the insertion of a thin needle into muscle tissue which, according to www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org, “treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function.” Dry needling can help in a variety of different musculoskeletal areas, such as; back, shoulder, hip, knee, and neck. Many people view dry needling and acupuncture as the same therapy, but there are differences between the two that are worth noting. One difference is that acupuncture is a Chinese medicine, the idea being that by inserting thin needles along the meridian lines of the body (which are associated with the organ systems) balance and proper energy flow may be restored. Dry needling is a Western medicine which involves targeting trigger points (spots in your body that are hyperirritable and sensitive, often painful, to palpation), to restore proper function of the muscle. Dry needling is also a therapy used to treat chronic and acute pain without using medication or surgical procedures.
There are a few different dry needling techniques that may be used based on the patient’s needs. The first technique is the trigger point technique which targets the specific areas of pain and the trigger point. The second technique is called the in-and-out technique which involves moving the dry needle in and out of the muscle tissue. The third technique is called non-trigger point technique and targets the areas surrounding the pain rather than the specific area of pain.
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