HOW DOES IT WORK?
Myofascial dry needling (MDN) to put it simply, can replace 30-40 minutes of deep tissue massage on an area. It is an extremely effective way of reducing muscular tension and neuromuscular holding patterns that occur during a time of injury. It can be uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as what 30-40 minutes of deep tissue massage can be.
The needle is placed on what is called a ‘trigger point’. A trigger point is an area of muscle that is hyper-irritable and some describe it as a small ‘micro cramp’ within the muscle. This just means you have some of the muscles fibers adhesed together. This microcramp causes local oxygen starvation to the near-by tissue, thus effecting it’s function.
The needle is placed intramuscularly into this spot. It will sever the ‘neuromuscular junction’, which will mean the fibers that are being told to contract will no longer be receiving this input from the neuron/nervous system. This will take the chemical stimulus away from the muscle which will encourage it to return to it’s normal length and stop contracting.
The muscles chemical balance will also be disturbed and calcium (which helps in muscle contraction) will be allowed to be absorbed back into the blood stream for diluted diffusion across the body. The lack of calcium in this area will mean that magnesium can flood in and coach the muscle to relax.
You may find that you get a ‘twitch response’ from the needling. This is a spinal reflex from our central nervous system. It signifies we are on an area that is hyper-irritable. Some believe that these spasmodic contractions allow for the chemical balance of the area to be positively disturbed and for homeostasis of the region to be encouraged.