Also known as myofascial trigger point dry needling. It is the use of acupuncture or hypodermic needles inserted into the body at trigger points to reduce muscular pain. Janet G Travell in her book, written in the last century, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction:Trigger Point Manuel had identified and classified numerous spots or sights over the body in the fascia surrounding the skeletal muscles. These spots are palpable nodules of taut bands of muscle fibres that are hyper irritable. Travell demonstrates that by inserting a needle, either dry or with solution, into these specific spots pain and restriction of the associated muscle will be relieved.
It is found that close to 70% of Trigger points coincide to acupuncture points. In fact it is hypothesised that acupuncture evolved by the continuous discovery of painful points or as the Chinese call them Ahh shi points over the body. When these Ah shi points were stimulated either by massage, heat or needle insertion a therapeutic response ocurred including reduction of pain, irritation and spasm.
According to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists:
Dry needling is a neurophysiological evidence-based treatment technique (...) Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalises biochemical and electrical dysfunction of the motor end plates and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.