Dry Needling Intramuscular Therapy

Dry Needling Intramuscular Therapy (DNIT) is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying active trigger points and muscular/connective tissues for the management of musculoskeletal or myofascial pain. DNIT can also be used to decrease spasm, improve muscular function and provide biofeedback. Numerous neuromuscular conditions can be treated such as low back pain, neck pain, and tendonitis.

How does this work?

Muscular tension and active trigger points are bands of muscle tissue that are shortened due to overuse, injury or nervous system up-regulation. The insertion of a needle elicits a twitch response in a muscle which reduces the tension and pain. Elevated levels of chemicals in the body that are involved in inflammation can be seen in a region of an active trigger point. One study found significant decreases in some of these substances following a local twitch response with a dry needle in patients with neck pain.

How is Intramuscular Needling different from Acupuncture?

The practice of acupuncture by acupuncturists and the performance of DNIT by physical therapists differ in terms of historical, philosophical, and practical context. The performance of modern DNIT by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific studies of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Physical therapists who perform DNIT do not use traditional acupuncture theories or acupuncture terminology; the only similarity is the use of a traditional Acupuncture needle.

Is this a painful procedure?

Every needling session is different and every body part has a different response to a needle. Most patients report that they experience pressure, aching or brief discomfort. This sensation is momentary and potential benefits far outweigh a short time of discomfort. It is the most impactful treatment modality that I have ever found to manage soft tissue dysfunction and pain. Nothing else has the capacity to reach into the muscular band of tissue to effect a change.


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