Dry needling works by directly inserting the fine needles into Myofascial trigger points (TrPs) of the muscle. Trigger points consist of multiple contraction points or “knots” which cause muscle tightness and pain. An active trigger point causes complaints of direct pain in a specific area of a muscle. An active trigger point prevents the full lengthening of the muscle, weakens the muscle, and mediates a local twitch response of muscle fibers when adequately stimulated. By inserting a needle into a trigger point the tight knot releases, giving the muscle increased flexibility and decreased pain.
There is general agreement that any kind of muscle overuse or direct trauma to the muscle can lead to the development of TrPs. Muscle overload is thought to be the result of sustained or repetitive low-level muscle contractions, eccentric muscle contractions, and maximal or submaximal concentric muscle contractions.
All podiatrists at Darwin Podiatry are trained in dry needling for the entire lower limb.