In canine physical therapy, numerous manual therapies are utilized to decrease a pet's musculoskeletal pain. Trigger point dry needling is such a technique. Muscle and connective fascial tissue (myofascia junctions) can develop adhesions, contractions and spasm resulting in a viscous cyclic pathway of neuromuscular stimulation, muscle contractions, followed by more stimulation. This pathway results in myofascia pain. These areas of stimulation-contraction-stimulation are known as trigger points.
Therapeutic, trigger point dry needling aims to decrease your dog's myofascial pain caused by myofascial trigger points and the resulting muscle spasm and dysfunction. Dry needling is a general term for a therapeutic procedure that involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the myofascial trigger points. Dry needling is not an injection, but the physical presence of an appropriately placed needle deactivates the trigger point, thereby reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle. Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention, with very few side effects. Dry needling may also benefit the immune, inflammatory, biochemical, vascular and neurological systems through mechanical, chemical, electrophysiological and neurophysiologic effects. Dry needling is extremely effective at eliminating canine neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.
The Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture
- Dry needling is a technique, which emphasizes treating the neuro-musculosketal systems based on pain patterns, muscular dysfunction and other orthopedic signs and symptoms.
- Dry needling relies upon time of treatment physical examination and assessment to guide treatment.
- Acupuncture is a treatment based on eastern medical diagnosis, requiring training in Chinese medicine.
- Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridans.