Dry Needling is an invasive technique used by physical and occupational therapists to treat acute pain, chronic pain and to rehabilitate from injury with very few side effects. The technique uses a filament needle, without medication or injection, which is inserted into areas of the muscle known as trigger points. A trigger point describes a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch and can refer pain to distant parts of the body. Physical and Occupational therapists utilize dry needling with the goal of releasing/inactivating the trigger points and relieving pain. Preliminary research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.
Dry needling should not be confused with acupuncture. They are two different things. Acupuncture uses points that lie along the body's meridians or energy channels, while myofascial dry needling uses points that are defined by western based anatomy and physiology.
Dry Needling is currently available at all OrthoVirginia physical therapy offices in the Richmond area.