Functional Dry Needling®
Dry Needling is a skilled therapeutic technique performed by a physical therapist using filiform needles to penetrate the skin and/or underlying tissues to affect change in body structures and functions for the evaluation and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, pain, movement impairments and disability. (FOSBPT 2015)
The needles utilized in dry needling are very small in diameter, solid, and have a rounded tip. The phrase“dry” is used to emphasize the fact that no substance is being injected into the body, and in fact the needles used in the technique are not capable of injecting any substance.
Functional Dry Needling® emphasizes the application of dry needling to restore bodily function. Most commonly needles are being applied to trigger points within muscles. These trigger points, often identified by pain felt in the patient, although this is not always the case, may be causing dysfunctionswithin the neuromuscular system. Physiologic effects of dry needling include increased blood flow, decreased banding, decreased spontaneous electrical activity, and various biochemical changes to local tissues, while in some instances changes to the central nervous system can also occur.
During dry needling a local twitch response is triggered from the effected muscle, which can feel similar to a quick muscle cramp. Electrical stimulation may be utilized to help muscle reset and increase recruitment and response of muscle fibers.
Dry needling is not painful, however many do not consider it a relaxing experience. Regardless, it has been proven to be effective in treating pain and dysfunction within the neuromuscular system.