Dry Needling involves taking a very thin needle and inserting it into “dysfunctional” soft tissues. This can be done on ligaments, tendons, muscles, and fascia (soft tissues). The dysfunction can vary from scar tissue in ligaments and tendons, to chronic inflammation in tendons. Dry Needling can also help heal tight tender muscles, and can help release tight fascia surrounding muscles. Inserting a needle into dysfunctional tissues (dry needling) causes “microtrauma” to the area being dry needled, which sends healing cells to the area. The healing cells then heal the microtrauma from dry needling as well as the area that was previously dysfunctional (an old scar, injury, tight muscles, etc). More simply, dry needling is like putting a flag or marker in an area that needs to be healed better, to which the body sends the healing cells.
What makes the needling “dry” is the idea that there is no liquid or solution being injected into the skin. Some doctors can treat trigger points with an injection of a local anesthetic (lidocain), saline, and/or a corticosteroid, which would effectively make this “wet needling.”
For more information on dry needling, please refer to the following post: Dry Needling: All Your Questions Answered!