Dry needling techniques were described by classical and contemporary Chinese medicine. Although dry needling is not new, it is essentially a term used to describe a technique that has been used in Chinese medicine (acupuncture) for over 2000 years. Dry needling was popularized in the West by Dr Janet Travell and Dr David Simon. However, its modern use has expanded to relieve tightness and pain in muscle, improving blood flow, activating the immune system and improving ligament tone.
Low gauge acupuncture needles of different lengths are inserted into the target tissue. It is a relatively painless procedure and highly effective at resolving stubborn tight bands of muscle fibres, trigger points, gaining greater stability at a degenerated joint and facilitating the healing of soft tissue structures.
During your dry needling experience, needle insertion is normally not felt. Sometimes you can get a slight muscle contraction which may cause a very brief pain response. Depending on the dry needling technique used, you will usually experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation. Patients can experience some muscle soreness for up to 24 to 48 hours following a dry needling procedure and on occasion some bruising. The use of heat or ice is all that is necessary.