Dry needling involves using a solid atraumatic needle, commonly referred to as an acupuncture needle. Pain relief has been theorised through both the pain gate mechanisms and diffuse noxious inhibitory control. It can be pain free and superficial needling can be perfect for people in chronic pain, where normal manual therapy is not possible.
Needles are pre-sterilized and disposable and can be inserted between 0.5cm and 10cm depending on the technique used and or muscle location. Superficial needling is said to activate A delta nerve fibers while deep needling is said to reduce pain and induce healing through the production of platelet derived growth factor to stimulate new collagen formation.
The needle may be manipulated by rotation, scraping or flicking to increase sensory propagation. Needles can be inserted perpendicular, or at oblique or transverse angles. In general needles are inserted for 10-15 minutes although shorter times may be utilised to stimulate the muscle through intramuscular stimulation.
There are a number of short DN courses available, however I chose to study the longer course as endorsed by The Australian Society of Acupuncture Physiotherapists. This exceeds the current legislative requirements for DN. Which can in some cases only be a weekend course. Combined with 6 years of experience and ongoing education in evidence based practice, means you're in good hands.