Dry Needling (DN) is an effective therapy to treat muscular tension and spasm which commonly accompanies conditions such as arthritis, nerve irritation, muscular strain, ligament strains and herniated discs. The treatment consists of utilizing a thin hypodermic needle which is inserted into a painful contracted muscle to create a local twitch reflex which is both diagnostic and therapeutic as it is the first step in breaking the pain cycle as research shows will decrease muscle contraction, reduce chemical irritation, improve flexibility and decrease pain.
When an injury occurs from repetitive use or acute trauma, inflammation will be produced from the damaged tissues. The damaged tissues will also go into a protective tension state or contracture to guard against further damage from utilizing the injured tissue. This contracture and inflammation inhibit microcirculation which limits both the oxygen rich blood reaching the injury and the waste products leaving the injury. The injury site becomes hypoxic (decreased in oxygen) which causes the body to create scar tissue. This fibrosis and scarring builds up around the muscles and tissues limiting the tissues ability to function and can also cause compression and irritation of nerves.