Sunday, July 3, 2016


Here’s What You Need To Know…
1. The practice of Dry Needling has been around for decades and continues to improve Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal function. As these techniques, methods improve, so do the practitioners skill set, making this treatment strategy one of the most effective in the world of rehabilitation.

2. The advancements in dry needling has lead to a number of different models and methods including the myofascial trigger point model, the radiculopathy model and the spinal segmental sensitization model, all which are used to treat the presence of pain or dysfunction.

3. The primary goal of Dry Needling is to desensitize supersensitive structures, to restore motion and function and to possibly induce a healing response to the tissue. For seasoned practitioners, Dry Needling is extremely beneficial for quick and tangible results on top of other movement remediations.

4. Dry Needling is completely different from Acupuncture. Dry Needling is technique to treat the neuromusculoskeletal systems based on pain patterns, muscular dysfunction, and other orthopedic signs and symptoms which depends upon physical examination and assessment to guide the treatment. Acupuncture is a technique for balancing the Flow of Energy or Life Force, known as Qi or Chi, believed to flow through meridians, pathways, in your body.

5. If you are skeptical of Dry Needling, there is indeed a reason why world class athletes from around the globe are being treated for pain and dysfunction using this technique. And as the physical therapy and chiropractic scopes of practice continue to widely accept this practice, we will continue to see marked improvements in practice and possibly the emergence of Dry Needling as a gold standard soft tissue and neuromuscular technique.

The History and Foundation of Dry Needling
The history of Dry Needling (DN) dates back to the 1940’s with Dr. Janet Travell. She identified the muscular trigger points and referral patterns that were elicited with the “wet needling.” Later, she discovered that “Dry Needling” offered the same results. This was groundbreaking work and hence she created the name “Dry Needling.” She and Dr. David Simon carefully identified most of the trigger points located in the human body. Thus, the first generation of modern Dry Needling was established (1).

“Wet Needling” is when a substance (supplement or medication) is introduced to the body via a hypodermic needle. “Dry Needling” involves a physical assessment and is an intervention for neuromusculoskeletal conditions as developed and described by Janet Travell MD, David Simons MD, Dr. C. Chan Gunn and others. It uses small monofilament needles to reactive trigger points and “loosen” shortened muscles. This treatment likely affects the immune, inflammatory, biomechanics, vascular and neurological systems (2).

The APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) states Dry Needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. Dry Needling is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, and, diminish persistent peripheral nociceptive input, and reduce or restore impairments of body structure and function leading to improved activity and participation (3).

Dry Needling has had several names that Clinicians seem to utilize: TDN (Trigger Point Dry Needling), IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation), IMT (Intramuscular Manual Therapy), FDN (Functional Dry Needling) and several others.

In the United States, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Medical Doctors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists are utilizing Dry Needling.

Depending on the State you live in and your professional degree of choice, you may be able to practice Dry Needling and/or Acupuncture. Check out your State’s Scope of Practice for PT’s: Scope of Practice. Check out your State’s Scope of Practice for Chiro’s: Scope of Practice.

This post was originally published here: DRY NEEDLING IS THE NEXT BIG THING IN PHYSICAL THERAPY