Dry needling is a skilled physical therapy procedure used to rapidly reduce pain, “release” taut muscle bands, myofascial trigger points, and restore muscle function. Dry needling uses solid, fine tip needles without medication –to reach active trigger points, and “re-boot” the nerve pathway from your spine to the muscle. This improves the targeted neuromuscular function, so the muscle, muscle group can again activate and maximize strength.
Legacy Therapy and Wellness locations all provide Functional Dry Needling® as the specific dry needling method. The Functional Dry Needling® (FDN) method is a balanced approach that uses advanced manual and needling techniques to both assess and treat the targeted trigger points and painful, weak muscles. Legacy Therapists find, map, and then “re-set” these trigger points and taut bands of painful or weak muscle tissue. This needling method goes past trigger point pain reduction, right into correcting the root cause problem. The result is a more complete and lasting muscle activation, and overall full muscle group and functional movement pattern.
What are “active trigger points”?
Your muscles can develop local trigger points or taut bands of muscle tissue that become painful. The active trigger point pain often spreads to other areas of the body, either adjacent to the trigger point, or even far away from the trigger point – such as further down the leg and well below the local trigger point location in your upper, outside hip muscle.
What is the “Local Muscle Twitch” referred to in Dry
In FDN, the dry needle placement and pistoning method
(smoothly sliding the needle up and down in the trigger point) are used to
elicit a local muscle contraction called a “Local Muscle Twitch”. A “local muscle twitch” is an involuntary
muscle contraction that dials down the local muscle’s un-natural “spontaneous
electrical activity” between the muscle and spinal cord. Another way of understanding this is like
when you “re-boot” your computer so the software runs smoothly again. The local muscle twitch helps to “re-boot” or
“re-set” the normal electrical activity of your muscle so the muscle group can
fully relax and fully activate when needed.
How is Dry Needling different from Acupuncture?
Physical therapists and acupuncturists use the same type needles, but the training and strategy of treatment differs. Acupuncturists training emphasizes traditional Chinese medicine, and the needles are placed along pathways tied to Chinese “energy pathways”. Physical Therapists use dry needles with strategies to normalize neurological and muscle function, and place the needles into muscles and nerve pathways to eliminate pain, and to restore normal muscle function and healthy movement.