Dry needling is a treatment that involves a very thin needle being pushed through the skin to stimulate a trigger point. Dry needling may release the tight muscle bands associated with trigger points and lead to decreased pain and improved function. Most of the time the treatment is painless even though the name may not make you think that.
Trigger points are irritable, hard “knots” within a muscle that may cause pain over a large area, leading to difficulty performing everyday tasks. When a trigger point is touched, it hurts and can also cause pain in nearby areas (see illustration). When a person has painful muscles and trigger points, it is sometimes called myofascial pain syndrome.