September 24, 2021
Ashley Laderer, writing about dry needling for INSIDER, cited Leng Tang-Ritchie, Vice President of Clinical Education and Operations at Pacific College of Health and Science. Tang-Ritchie discussed its mechanism of action, how to optimize its results, and its legality.
According to Tang-Ritchie, when a needle is inserted into a muscle knot, which is an area where the fibers are shortened, thickened, and hardened, it causes your muscles to twitch. This sudden contraction then relaxation may relieve pain related to musculoskeletal issues caused by overuse, injury, or trauma, including migraines. Dry needling can also work by changing how you respond to pain, increasing the circulation of blood to the needled area, and improving mobility.
Dry needling remains controversial, however; physical therapists can become certified in the practice in just 54 hours, whereas acupuncturists in some states such as California, where dry needling is prohibited, require over 3,000 hours of training.