Dry Needling for Physical Therapy

    How Dry Needling Works: Needling Mechanisms:/h3>

Dry Needling, especially virtually pain free Contemporary Dry Needling ™ changed the world of physical therapists and chiropractors forever, open new horizons.

Dry needling is the most powerful modality in treating soft tissue dysfunction, though there are many misunderstanding or misconception about dry needling.

“Presently we have a great confusion of various ideas regarding Dry Needling. Dr Yun-tao Ma’s book is destined to play a truly integrating role, explaining mechanism of dry needling, offering a system for practical application and clarifying misunderstandings. Current myofascial trigger points approach focuses on localized or regionalized symptoms.
Integrative Systemic Dry Needling offered by Dr Ma pays attention to both regionalized symptoms and their pathological influence over the entire musculoskeletal system.”
– Peter Lundgren, Physiotherapist, Director AKNA Institute, Sweden

One common misunderstanding is to believe that dry needling can treat symptoms just like a pharmaceutical tool.
For example, NIH tried to clarify what needling can treat and what needling can not treat, missing to take into consideration the mechanisms of dry needling that permited to treats the body as a SYSTEM, not a sum total of different body’s parts.

When facing different dry needling styles / schools, some practitioners are trying to figure out which needling modality is supported and which is not supported by scientific researches.

These questions arise due to lack of understanding the most important aspect of dry needling -the physiologic mechanisms of needling.

Another methodological mistake is that practitioners do not differentiate theories of dry needling from clinical facts.

The important question still need to be answered – is the concept of trigger points a tentative theory or scientifically proven fact?

Presently researchers and clinicians stick to a theory and try to find evidence to support this theory based on the fact that the technique works.
As a Chinese saying go –” When the feet does not fit the shoes– cut the feet to fit the shoes”. This obviously is not the best evidence based approach.
Thus, researchers and clinicians stick to a theory and try to find evidence to support the theories of choice simply because ” see, the technique works” approach. Dry Needling technique works because of needling mechanism not because theory is correct.
This misunderstanding causes bias and misconceptions and prevent much needed modernization of dry needling.
Also these misconceptions are restricting or limiting the clinical efficacy of dry needling in all clinical fields, from orthopedic rehabilitation to sports medicine.

How DN works:
Integrative Dry Needling fuses filament needles to inoculate minor lesions into the soft tissues (skin, muscles, fascia, tendon and ligament, etc) to activate the healing process, resulting in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology.

The pathophysiology of myofascial pain involves:

(1) sensitization of central nervous system and peripheral nervous system,

(2) soft tissue dysfunction, which includes a number of histological abnormalities and molecular events and

(3) musculoskeletal biomechanical imbalance.

The widely known concept of trigger points and their referred pain patterns are  one of these histological abnormalities.

To achieve effective lasting pain relief,  physical therapists and chiropractors needs to deeply understand:

  • mechanism of dry needling
  • mechanisms of formation of trigger points
  • mechanism of twitching response
  • and be able to clinically apply multiple approaches.