What is Dry Needling Electrotherapy?
Dry-Needling Electrotherapy (DN-ET) uses medical acupuncture needles with electrostimulation to produce therapeutic results for patients who experience chronic or acute pain. DN-ET builds myofascial and trigger point pain models to help reduce sensitization of nociceptive processing in the central nervous system. DN-ET is an evidence-based clinical intervention that targets taut bands of contracted fiber in muscle tissue with the goal of reducing nociceptive input and wide-spread pain sensitivity in the anterior cingulate cortex and descending inhibitory limbic system.
Mechanically, DN-ET disrupts chronic muscle contraction, stretches contracted sarcomere assemblies and reduces the overlap between actin and myosin filaments. Current research suggests that DN-EL may modulate motor endplates and cause changes in axon denervation that result in pain reduction and tissue regeneration. Various clinical studies have shown that DN-EL performed at specific, dose-dependent electrotherapy frequencies produces local analgesic and brain neuroplastic changes through the release of endorphins, enkephalins, gamma-aminobutyric acid, galanin and dynorphins. DN-EL also modulates cellular concentrations of substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide, beta-endorphin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and other chemical mediators to help reduce overall central nervous system hypersensitivity.
The primary reason patients request DN-ET at our clinic is for pain management and rehabilitation, often upon the recommendation of their primary care physician or physical therapist.
The DN-ET treatment approach applies to biomedical diagnosis and does not use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a framework for understanding, although there is general overlap between DN-ET trigger points and TCM acupuncture channels and point locations. Dr. Heide uses biomedical insights and models to help explain DN-ET principles that helps fully engage the patient in the therapeutic process. As a result, the assessment and treatment strategies become highly effective for a wide spectrum of chronic and acute pain patients. Patients can be confident that the treatment approaches are evidence-based and supported by on-going medical research.