Dry needling is a relatively new modality targeted at desensitising muscle trigger points and/or pain utilizing a “dry” needling technique by insertion into the skin and trigger points. It can elicit a local twitch response causing a hyperirritable taut band of muscle tissue with trigger points to contract and simultaneously release. Many studies have established its effectiveness based on scientific research.
Inserting needles can also increase blood flow and speed up the body’s natural healing mechanism by inducing a micro-trauma. It is not untypical to have a reduction in muscular pain by 50% or more in one to two treatments.
It is an easy way to work on superficial and deep muscle tissue to get straight to the target, and is a rapid process, low risk, minimally invasive, cost-effective, and well-tolerated in specific areas and muscular groups on the human body. As climbers, we are pushing our bodies to the limit and this can easily result in tightness and tender trigger points that can be easily treated by dry needling.
It is important to note that as with any standalone therapy, dry needling does not permanently resolve all trigger point issues. The cause may be due to muscular imbalance, asymmetry, poor posture, and any other intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Consequently, a well thought out treatment plan in conjunction with other modalities must be considered for long-term relief from pain and to maximize muscular-skeletal function.