Sore muscles are often involved in physical complaints. Dry needling is a new treatment method within physiotherapy in which muscles are punctured and thereby relax quickly and for a long time. An acupuncture needle is used for this. The big difference with acupuncture is that acupuncture is based on an ‘energetic concept’ in which meridians and energy play an important role. Dry needling is a physiological reaction of the body when the ‘trigger points’ are stimulated.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a cramped spot in a muscle that often causes radiating pain in addition to localized pressure pain. Treatment focuses on disabling the trigger point.
What does Dry Needling feel like?
You hardly feel the insertion of the needle. When the trigger point is punctured, you will feel a short tension of the muscle very locally. You may experience this as a kind of cramping sensation. Then the muscle relaxes and can move more easily. Often the treated area does feel a bit tired and/or stiff, but this is usually short-lived.
For which complaints is dry needling suitable?
- WITH CHRONIC COMPLAINTS: FOR EXAMPLE, DUE TO PROLONGED INCORRECT POSTURE
- PROLONGED OVERUSE OF THE ARM/ SHOULDER, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN USING THE COMPUTER
- OVERUSE AND/OR INJURIES IN ATHLETES
- IN ACUTE COMPLAINTS: FOR EXAMPLE, DUE TO A WRONG MOVEMENT OR AN ACCIDENT
Dry Needling Physical Therapists
Robert Vlek, MSc
Marten Elzinga, MSc