My physiotherapist suggested dry-needling. I waved him off saying that I don't believe in acupuncture, but he insists it is different. He gave me a leaflet which tells about sticking needles into 'trigger points', which apparently has some kind of benefit for the muscles.
My question: is there any research on this topic? Or is this just a new marketing ploy for acupuncturists?
This is the translated (from Dutch) blurb on the little leaflet:
Dry Needling is a relatively unknown form of therapy in the Netherlands. Only in recent years has it been used in the Netherlands by physiotherapists. With Dry Needling, muscle knots (trigger points) are punctured with a dry acupuncture needle, which cause the muscle to relax rapidly and prolonged. Trigger points cause local pain also pain at a distance.
Dry Needling differs from acupuncture in that dry needling focuses on the trigger points and acupuncture focuses on the energy system. Dry Needling treatment falls within the physiotherapy treatment.
Trigger points can be expressed as:
- pain / stiffness locally in muscle pain and elsewhere 'remote'
- restriction of movement in joints
- decreased strength in the muscle (s)
- pain avoidance behavior. (Moving different than normal)
- tingling in arms / legs, headaches, dizziness.
How could trigger points arise?
- Acute time - eg through a wrong move (above ourselves) or accident / sports injuries.
- Chronic - eg by a prolonged poor posture and / or RSI / CANS.
- Prolonged absence of movement, eg plaster, brace or sling.
- "Weak" incidental ligaments ankles and / or knees.
- Psychological factors such as stress and depression.
- Foot Abnormalities, instability and / or differences in leg length, eg after a fracture or surgery.
- Too tight clothing or improper wearing a backpack.