Dry Needling is a treatment strategy employed by Physical Therapists whereby solid monofilament needles of varying gauges and lengths are inserted into different soft tissues throughout the body. The purpose of needle insertion and other aspects associated with Dry Needling is to deactivate trigger points and “loosen” short muscles and is primarily to reduce pain and return the individual to their prior functional level as quickly as possible without pain. This treatment likely affects the immune, inflammatory, biomechanical , vascular and neurological systems.
Dry Needling is NOT acupuncture, and a distinction needs to be made noting that the two terms are not synonymous. The mechanisms of needle insertion, though similar in nature, are differentiated in the application and theory behind the two different types of needling interventions. Dry Needling is a treatment technique to treat neuro-musclolskeletal systems based on pain patterns,muscular dysfunction and other unknown signs and symptoms. Dry Needling focuses on anatomy, neurology, and physiology, whereas acupuncture is a component of oriental medicine and focuses on energy flow, meridian channels, and treating the source of pain by “stimulating” various internal organ systems through various pre-determine needling locations.