Dry Needling involves the releasing of myofasial triggers with a fine dry needling needle (not to be confused with Acupuncture).
Trigger points are focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. These trigger points can be very painful when palpated and can refer pain to other regions of the body.
Trigger points can also lead to a muscle “switching off” or reducing the strength of its contraction. This technique can be used to relieve overused muscles and improve both quality and function.
Podiatrists use this technique in conjunction with other rehabilitation methods to broaden a client’s treatment plan.
During treatment, a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of the needle. However, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the patient will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp -‘the twitch response’.
The patient also may feel a reproduction of “their” pain which is a helpful diagnostic indicator for the Podiatrist attempting to diagnose the cause of the patient’s symptoms.
Patients soon learn to recognise and even welcome this sensation as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length function to the involved muscle.