Musculoskeletal dry needling (a form of acupuncture) is the practise of inserting acupuncture needles into specific points of dysfunctional muscles that are themselves painful or are creating referred pain to other areas of the body.
These areas of referred pain do not follow a nerve referral pattern, but a recognised referral pattern as documented originally by the work of Dr Travell and Dr Symmons. Classic examples of this are headaches that are caused or start in the muscles around the shoulders and neck and refer to the head creating a “neck or shoulder tension headache”.
Chiropractors at Abbey Chiropractic Clinic have over 10 years experience in the art of dry needling and will often offer this treatment as an accompaniment to standard Chiropractic care.
Acupuncture needles are used which are up to 15 times thinner than injection needles.
These are placed into areas of muscle know as “trigger points”. Trigger points are specific points in a muscle that are felt as tender hard bands or knots which can cause discomfort or can refer pain to another part of the body. Sometimes, if an acupuncture needle is placed into an active or referring trigger point, the muscle will elicit a “twitch response`’. This is an involuntary twitch of the muscle whilst it is being needled.