Dry needling is a specific procedure in which a thin acupuncture needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point or muscular tendon to elicit a healing response. A myofascial trigger point is a focus of small muscle fibre knots, which are related to the production of pain. They often occur as a result of postural dysfunction and in areas of musculoskeletal stress.
There are many similarities and differences between dry needling and acupuncture. Dry needling is based on Western medicine principles and it is increasingly used in the management of musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Dry needling works by increasing blood flow and eliciting a reflex response to a muscle or tendon inducing biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain.