Dry Needling
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Basic Principle:

Clinical tool utilized to treat musculoskeletal pain and human movement dysfunction

History:

Developed in the 1970’s by modern medical doctors. The founders of dry needling are Dr. Janet Travell and Dr. C. C. Gunn. Contemporary Dry Needling includes several modalities, which are improved techniques of its founders’ and continuously improve when medical science advances based around research.

Education:

In the US Dry Needling is based on modern medicine including training in human anatomy, physiology, pathology, histology, neurology, kinesiology, human biomechanics and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Healthcare practitioners that have completed training as a medical physician, chiropractic physician, or physical therapies are qualified to study & practice dry needling. Current Dry Needling technique training requires 50+ hours of face-to-face hands-on training.

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Basic principle:

Based on Chinese ancient philosophy and clinical experience to treat human diseases.

History:

Developed 2,500 years ago in Chinese civilization. The clinical therapies and techniques were based on ancient experience and described in Yellow Emperor’s Cannon of Internal Medicine published 2,000 year ago, which is still the major textbook in traditional acupuncture schools.

Education:

To study and practice traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture requires the practitioners to finish 3 years of acupuncture schooling which is based on Chinese classics including philosophy of Chinese medicine such as theories of Yin-yang, Five element interaction, meridian theories, and pulse-tongue diagnosis, and disease classification according to Chinese medicine. To practice traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture requires practitioners to pass license examinations, which do not include any knowledge or skills of dry needling.

Benefits of Dry Needling

Local effects:

Dry Needling lesions in the soft tissue is a therapeutic modality for soft tissue dysfunction. Soft tissue dysfunction involves soft tissue injuries including tissue inflammation, sensitized nerve tissue, scar tissue formation, tissue adhesions, and deficiency of blood and lymphatic circulation. The process of inserting a needle starts with puncturing the skin, and then involves physical stretching the tissue, which creates lesions in the soft tissue. When the needle is removed, the lesion remains for a few days. Needling process thus provides both physical (tissue stretching) and biomechanics (lesion) stimuli. The lesion-induced process activates physiological mechanisms of remodeling of injured and inflamed soft tissues in and around the needling site. The tissue remodeling process includes a local physical stress reduction and normalizing local inflammation, and replacement of injured tissue with fresh tissue of the same type.

 

System effects:

Each needling process is invasive and creates both local and systemic effects. The restoration of both local tissue homeostasis and systemic homeostasis. Restoration of systemic homeostasis involve reducing both physical and physiological stress. Physical stress means muscular, which creates biomechanical imbalance such as joint and posture imbalance. Physiological stress may include local physiological dysfunction (inflammation, tissue ischemia, etc. ) and all body systems like immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, and all others. So simple insertion of an invasive needle creates both local and systemic therapeutic effects.

 

Non-specific pathophysiologic feature of needling:

It is important to understand that needling itself does not treat any specific disease, but may restore tissue homeostasis, during which the process of biological self-healing and self-repair physiology-mechanisms are activated. After needling many pathological conditions can be improved, including joint biomechanics. Thus, needling is a non-specific therapy.

 

Integrative Dry Needling for sports Medicine:

  • Optimize physical performance by reducing biomechanical and physical stress during the pre-symptom stage

  • Prevent chronic soft tissue injuries and some acute injuries

  • Provide treatments for conditions such as overtraining stress, soft tissue injuries related to the respective professions and rehabilitation after surgeries. 

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