Dry needling is a technique physical therapists use to treat pain. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into hypersensitive areas in the muscle known as trigger points. Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. In the ancient art of acupuncture, meridians or energy flow is stimulated mostly at distal sites.
Dry needling is part of modern Western medicine principles, where the affected tissue is targeted directly in an effort to make a local mechanical change and stimulate a central release of pain inhibiting processes. It can make a profound change in pain and is supported by research (Cummings et.al, 2001).