Dry needling is a physical modality that aims to relieve trigger points in tight muscle tissue. Not be confused with the Eastern practice of acupuncture, dry needling is a technique that can be implemented by physiotherapists with specific training.
Dry needling can be categorised into superficial and deep dry needling. As the name implies, superficial dry needling does not reach the myofascial trigger points and is painless. Deep dry needling however, elicits a twitch response by releasing myofascial trigger points. In some cases, this can provide immediate pain relief. However it is also possible for deep dry needling to elicit the full pattern of referred pain, before providing relief.
While dry needling can provide temporary relief of pain and muscle tension, it is important to still determine the source of pain with a thorough physiotherapy assessment.