Dry needling is a minimally invasive technique in which an acupuncture needle is inserted directly into myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). The trigger points can generate a local twitch response with changes to muscle length and tension through regulation of spontaneous electrical activity and a change in blood flow within the ischemic and hypoxic tissues of the trigger points. It can also produce pain upon compression and illicit referred pain, in line with radiculopathy patterns of specific muscle affected.
Previous research has documented the immediate reduction in local and referred pain after dry needling:
- Decreased pain and muscle tension
- Improved range of motion
- Muscle strength