How Does Dry Needling Work?

Dry needling therapy is a treatment in which a qualified professional applies sterile needles (with no liquid inside) to certain areas of the body. Your muscle fibers may involuntarily exhibit a “local twitch response”. 

This is perfectly normal and often painless. If you are suffering from back pain for a long time, you can visit to get an appointment with a Wetherill Park chiropractor.

dry needling

This stimulation travels to the brain through the spinothalamic pathway. The spinothalamic pathway is significant because it is one of the primary ways the brain receives and interprets noxious stimuli.

Dry needling works by stimulating the brain by inserting dry needles gently through myofascial trigger points. 

A popular theory on how dry needling works is the Neuromatrix Pain Theory. What is the Neuromatrix Pain Theory? Developed by Dr. Ronald Melzack, the Neuromatrix Pain Theory is a novel new look at how the body and brain interpret pain. 

In short, this theory states that when a pain signal is created, it’ll take whatever pathway it is supposed to into the brain. Once in the brain, it can stimulate many different areas.

This is why pain can trigger many responses, such as:

  • Hurting (somatosensory cortex)

  • Passing out/syncope (thalamus)

  • Cold sweats (hypothalamus)

  • Crying/emotional distress (amygdala)

If an area of the brain is overstimulated with pain (when sticking a body part/muscle tissue with a filament needle), the brain will respond by reevaluating how that particular structure works in conjunction with everything else around it.