Dry needling is a skilled therapeutic intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of musculoskeletal / orthopedic pain and movement impairments. Dry needling is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue. It is utilized to diminish persistent peripheral nocioceptive (pain) input and to reduce or restore impairments of the body structure and function which will ultimately lead to improved mobility and activity. Dry needling is covered under the American Physical Therapy Association/APTA practice act www.apta.org and the Texas Physical Therapy Association/TPTA practice act www.tpta.org. Physical therapists are licensed and credentialed in the State of Texas to perform dry needling.
Dry needling is NOT the same as acupuncture. Acupunture is part of Traditional Chineses Medicine, whereas dry needling is a western medicine technique, which needs to have a medical diagnosis to treat. There is a clear scientific understanding of dry needling as it does not follow meridian based acupuncture theory. Dry needling works by changing the way your body senses pain (neurological effects), and by helping the body to activate processes within to heal itself (i.e. increased local blood flow, improved local cellular activity).