What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a unique procedure that has proven benefits for back pain. Your back consists of long, taut bands of muscle. Areas called myofascial trigger points are small spots that are particularly prone to irritation, thus increasing back pain. We all have these trigger points, but they only cause pain when they are activated.
The goal of dry needling is to use special needles to deactivate trigger points in your back. During the procedure, a specialist will identify trigger points and insert the tiny needles into the affected areas. Benefits include:
- Reduced pain
- Less stiffness
- Increased flexibility
- Improved range of motion
Dry needling is appropriate for many types of back pain. Whether you are suffering from a sports injury, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, or another cause of back pain, dry needling can help to deactivate trigger points and reduce pain.
The precise mechanism by which dry needling improves back pain is not clearly understood. Most research suggests that inserting a needle into the trigger points causes muscle fibers to relax. At the same time, neurons in the area trigger a cascade of chemical events. This includes the release of natural painkilling molecules, blocking incoming pain signals into the spine, and increased blood flow to the affected area. As a result, dry needling leads to long-lasting pain relief. Most patients say they feel immediate pain relief that lasts days or weeks. This provides a safe, effective alternative to opioid painkillers or invasive surgery.