Dry needling is a technique trained providers use to treat muscle pain and movement issues by targeting painful "trigger points." Needles are inserted into knotted muscle areas to reduce tightness, increase blood flow, and relieve local and referred pain. It is typically part of a larger pain management plan including exercise, stretching, and massage. Solid needles are used without injections - hence the name "dry." By decreasing trigger point sensitivity, dry needling can help restore mobility and provide lasting relief when combined with other modalities.
How Does Dry Needling Work?
Overused muscles enter an energy crisis, lacking blood flow to provide oxygen and nutrients. Without proper supply, tissues near trigger points acidify. Nerves become hypersensitive, perceiving soreness and pain. Dry needling helps return blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to strained muscle fibers so they can relax once more. The technique rebalances biochemistry locally so muscles re-find homeostasis rather than getting stuck in states of tension and distress.
Inserting needles into trigger points restores blood flow, releasing built-up tension and flushing out inflammatory metabolites. This stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, the body's natural pain relief. Some experience immediate improvement in pain and mobility after dry needling. For others, multiple sessions are required for trigger points to release their grip on muscles and nerves. Either way, each treatment moves the body closer to full function and freedom from discomfort.
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