Dry Needling is a specific physiotherapeutic technique used to treat sore muscles and problems with the musculoskeletal system. In this treatment, the therapist uses a thin needle, similar to that used in acupuncture, and inserts it directly into precisely defined points (trigger points) in the muscles to reduce pain and improve function.
How does Dry Needling work?
Through Dry Needling therapy, the therapist finds active points in the muscles, which are often tense and painful. These points are called "trigger points" because they can cause pain and discomfort not only in the muscle itself but also in other parts of the body (referred pain). When a needle is inserted into this point, it can cause a local reaction in the muscle, including a short-term spasm, but also release tension and reduce pain.
Difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture
Although Dry Needling and acupuncture use similar thin needles, the two techniques have different purposes and approaches. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the concept of energy meridians and energy balance in the body to achieve health. On the other hand, Dry Needling focuses on treating specific muscle problems, especially trigger points that cause pain and reduce muscle function.
Indications for Dry Needling therapy:
Dry needling is often used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Muscle pain syndromes (eg muscle cramps, tension headaches, myofascial pain syndromes)
- Pain in the joints (eg arthritis, pain syndromes of shoulders, knees, hips)
- Sports injuries (eg muscle damage, tendinitis, tendon injuries)
- Neurological disorders (eg neuralgia, neuropathic pain)
- Chronic back pain
Contraindications for Dry Needling therapy:
Although Dry Needling is a relatively safe therapy, there are some conditions that may be contraindications for this treatment:
- Skin infections at the treatment site
- Allergy to needles or metals
- Blood coagulation disorders (hemophilia, coagulopathy)
- Pregnancy (especially in the first trimesters)
- Locations with important anatomical structures (lungs, heart, spinal cord)
- Mental disorders or severe anxiety
- Poor cooperation or fear of needles
- Tumors in the treatment area
Dry needling therapy can be an effective option for treating sore muscles and related problems. However, before opting for this treatment, it is important to consult a qualified physiotherapist or doctor to make sure this is the right treatment for your condition.