Dry needling is used to treat muscle knots or trigger points as they are also known. Although dry needling is similar to traditional acupuncture, it differs in that it treats the muscle pain directly and is not based on traditional Chinese medicine. Dry needling is also known as medical acupuncture, as the basis of this therapy is derived and explained by western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems.
The practitioner will locate the appropriate spot, and insert a very thin acupuncture needle into the point in the muscle which is causing the pain. The insertion of the needle is normally not felt, and if inserted into a healthy muscle will not cause pain. However, when the needle is inserted into a sensitive muscle, such as where a muscle knot is located, a cramping sensation is usually felt. The cramping lasts for a few seconds, and will deactivate the muscle knot/trigger point and restore the muscle to it's normal function.
Research supports that dry needling reduces pain significantly (1), reduces muscle tension and normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction (2), leading to a return of normal muscle function.
1. Gerber LH, Shah, Rosenberger W, Armstrong K, Turo D, Otto P, Heimur J, Thaker N, Sikdar S.PM R. Dry Needling Alters Trigger Points in the Upper Trapezius Muscle and Reduces Pain in Subjects With Chronic Myofascial Pain. 2015 Feb 4. pii: S1934-1482(15)00052-0. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.01.020.
2. Liu L, Huang QM, Liu QG, Ye G, Bo CZ, Chen MJ, Li P. Effectiveness of Dry Needling for Myofascial Trigger Points Associated With Neck and Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 May;96(5):944-955. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.12.015. Epub 2015 Jan 7
Complementary therapy is also known as alternative therapy, alternative medicine, holistic therapy and traditional medicine. A wide variety of treatments fall under this category of "complementary therapy", with each treatment having it's own unique theory supporting it.
Trigger points can cause a whole host of symptoms such as headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. However, the cause of these symptoms, the trigger point, is usually far removed from the symptom's location.
The theory, also called TMS (tension myoneural syndrome), is based on the belief that it is a psychosomatic illness which is causing chronic back, neck, and limb pain, which is not relieved by standard medical treatments. Although his theory has yet to be accepted by mainstream medicine, he has successfully treated and cured thousands of patients based on his theory.
The most common form of back pain is lower back pain, also called lumbago. Lower back pain can often be felt all along the spine. This type of back pain is most often cased by bad posture or by putting too much strain on the muscles by bending or lifting incorrectly. Lower back pain can also be caused by more specific injuries and diseases such as:
Neck pain is fairly common, but can appear for many different reasons. This article will take a brief look at the most common causes of neck pain and ways to treat and prevent this problem.
High blood pressure is often taught and seen as a contraindication for massage. The theory behind this line of thought is that where a person already has too much pressure exerted against the walls of the blood vessels, massage will further increase circulation and increase the pressure, leading to potentially dangerous scenarios.
If you are an arthritis sufferer you may be wondering whether massage is a suitable therapy to relieve some of the symptoms of your condition. Thankfully, several recent studies have looked at the effects of massage for arthritis, and we now have a better understanding of whether and how massage works for the symptoms of arthritis.
First of all, start treating it early, either by seeing a massage therapist or by treating it at home.
Tight muscles usually have compromised circulation, which means that a little less blood, with it's nutrients and oxygen, reaches the area. It also means that the lymphatic system does not remove waste products from the area as well as it should do. By applying heat to the area, the circulation is improved, speeding up healing time.
Following on from our last article, we will take a look at what causes muscle knots to develop.
The number one cause is, as can be expected, muscular overload. Muscular overload is not just the physical strain the muscle is put under, but also the degree of strain placed on the neuromuscular control mechanism. The latter being the weak link in the normal function of the muscle. A malfunction in the neuromuscular system is the primary cause of the development of muscle knots.
Knots are also medically known as “myofascial trigger points”. The question we all want to ask is: how do they get there? Several theories have been put forth as to why they develop, but as the years have gone by researcher seem to have agreed on an explanation.