Intramuscular Manual Therapy (IMT), also known as dry needling, is a manual therapy technique designed to improve muscle function, induce relaxation and decrease pain. This technique is performed in addition to the traditional therapy assessment, exercise and mobilization techniques.
Dry needling involves the insertion of a sterile needle into a muscle to decrease spasm and trigger point activity. These thin needles are inserted at the myofascial trigger points, which can be a cause of referred pain. The muscles then contract and release, improving flexibility and decreasing symptoms. This can help resolve pain and muscle tension as well as promote healing. This is not traditional Chinese acupuncture, but is based on a Western medical approach to myofascial trigger points and physical assessment.
Dry needling is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, tendonosis, contractures, trigger points, tissue adhesions, and other neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Potential advantages include immediate reduction of local, referred and widespread pain, and the restoration of range of motion and improved muscle activation patterns.
Podcast: Dry Needling: What it is and who it helps