Dry Needling, Intramuscular Stimulation, Myofacial Trigger Point Dry Needling

Dry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS) or myofascial trigger point dry needling is the use of solid, thin needles to release tension in muscles and connective tissue. Certified physiotherapists insert the needles into the skin and muscle to directly target tight knots of muscle called trigger points that can cause pain locally as well as refer pain to nearby structures. A trigger point can be anywhere in the body in response to sudden injury, repetitive microtrauma, or muscle overloading. These trigger points negatively alter the activity of the muscle causing scarring, myofascial pain, muscle recruitment and muscle activation insufficiencies.

Dry needling can treat a variety of pain, both acute and chronic. It can be used as a part of a physiotherapy treatment plan to effectively manage conditions like headaches, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, as well as shoulder, back, and neck pain.

Benefits of Dry Needling:

  1. Relaxes Tight Muscles: It is believed dry needling resets the electrical balance within the trigger point, which restores the muscle to its normal resting length.
  2. Improves Blood Flow: Dry needling causes the relaxation of tight muscles, which allows more blood to move into the area, bringing with it more nutrients to increase tissue health.
  3. Releases Neurotransmitters: Dry needling releases neurotransmitters, which work to block transmission of pain information to the brain and spinal cord.
  4. Improves Movement: Muscles restored to their normal length, reduced pain levels and increased blood flow all contribute to an increase in range of motion.