Dry needling creates minute lesions in specific areas of soft tissue to normalize the soft tissue dysfunction without the involvement of any pharmacological process. By its physiological nature, dry needling is a specific therapy for myofascial pain and other soft-tissue dysfunction. Muscle accounts for 50% of human body mass, and so most human pathological conditions involve soft tissue dysfunction, whether in the case of physical injuries such as muscles damaged by overuse in daily life or in sporting activity, or in cases like Parkinson's disease, drug addiction, stroke, or cancer.
Of all the types of soft tissue dysfunction, pain is the most common neurological disorder, at any given time affecting about 35% of the North American and European population. More than $100 billion is spent every year for pain management. Recent studies suggest that more than 6 in every 10 adults over the age of 30 experience chronic pain. Expenditure on the relief of back and neck pain alone has risen to more than $80 billion per year in the United States, a dramatic increase over the past 8 years. In addition to the lost productivity of employees who can no longer work because of pain, an estimated $64 billion per year is lost due to the reduced performance of workers who continue to work while in pain.4
Dry needling as a specific soft tissue therapy is a valuable modality which has few or no side-effects if practiced properly. Several evidence-based studies show that needling is more effective than conventional therapy for back pain.5,6 This is because dry needling therapy emphasizes and promotes the healing of tissue, with pain relief as a result or positive "side effect."
In sports medicine, it is not uncommon for injured athletes, both professional and amateur, to be permanently disabled due to their treatment's focus on pain relief rather than on restoring optimum function.
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