Dry needling is a style of acupuncture that focuses on just the acupuncture points known as trigger points. Dry needling is more geared towards neuro-anatomical needling techniques and placement rather than traditional acupuncture point locations that take the whole body, mind and spirit into account. The term “trigger point” is used to describe an area of a muscle that has developed tight, fibrotic bands that are in a shortened and contracted state, is accompanied by inflammatory mediators, and results in the perception of pain.
The trigger point produces pain in the local area and are usually tender to the touch. Commonly trigger points cause referred pain, for example, a trigger point in a muscle located in the neck or shoulders that causes a headache. Muscles that commonly cause headaches are the trapezius and SCM (sternocleidomastoid).
The trigger points used in “Dry needling are also traditional acupuncture points!
7 examples of tight muscles and trigger points:
- Lack of exercise.
- A work environment with poor posture and poor ergonomics.
- Repetitive motions and injuries (example: too much computer work/typing, using a mouse, texting, handheld electronics, driving etc)
- Joint disorders
- Lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep and poor eating habits
- Stress that causes the tensing and clenching of muscles
- Acute injuries and sports injuries
9 Conditions that are commonly treated using trigger points:
- Spinal pathology such as bulged and herniated discs, radiculitis and radiculopathy- In both the neck and low back
- Rotator cuff injury
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Carpal tunnel
Anna Bäck uses acupuncture, dry needling, electro acupuncture, cupping, and Gua Sha to treat trigger points