Dry needling

Written by Randy Atmo, Orthomedix

One of the therapeutic modalities used at Orthomedix is dry needling.

Dry needling is a technique whereby acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin without using any solution, hence the name. This technique originated in Canada in the 70’s and was developed by Dr. C. Chann Gunn. In 2007 this technique was adopted by the Dutch national physiotherapeutic association (KNGF) as part of the professional profile for physiotherapists practicing in The Netherlands. For this reason, dry needling is part of regular care and therefore covered by health insurance.

What is a trigger point?

The needles are not inserted into the tissue at random, but rather in a part of a muscle that contains a ‘trigger point’.

A trigger point in the body is best described as having knot in a muscle. When pressed on, trigger points can be a major source of pain. The therapist looks for these painful knots as they can play an important role in the complaint.

Symptoms of a trigger point:

  • Localized pain/stiffness, but also elsewhere which is referred to as ‘referred pain’.
  • Limitations in the neighbouring joints.
  • Decrease of strength in the affected muscle(s).
  • Antalgic (pain avoiding) movement patterns which can lead to secondary problems of the musculoskeletal system.

At Orthomedix, dry needling is always used in conjunction with other treatment techniques and methods, only in cases in which it is indicated. During the treatment, the therapist will thoroughly assess where the trigger points are located which may be playing a role in your complaint. Needles will be inserted carefully into the trigger point sites.

During the treatment, you may request the use of dry needling and the therapist will then assess whether there is an indication to use this modality for your complaint.

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