Dry Needling is a cost effective and efficient technique for the treatment of myofascial pain and dysfunction. Acupuncture and dry needling techniques are similar; however their rationale and use in treatment are different.
Dr’s Travell and Simons defined a myofascial trigger point as a ‘Hyperirritable spot in a skeletal muscle’. The spot is painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction and autonomic phenomena. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple contraction knots, which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. Myofascial trigger points are commonly seen in both acute and chronic pain conditions.
Accurate dry needling of a myofascial trigger point will elicit a local twitch response, which is an involuntary spinal cord reflex in which the muscle fibers in the taut band of the muscle contract. The local twitch response indicates the proper placement of the needle in a trigger point. Dry needling which elicits a local twitch response improves treatment outcomes.