How Dry Needling Helps Manage Chronic & Acute Pain Without Medicines

Adiel Gorel

Dr. David Fishkin Explains This Therapy on The Adiel Gorel Show

Do you believe that we are fast becoming a population of pill-poppers looking for quick fix solutions to our health problems? How often do we really get to the root of the problem as opposed to merely addressing the symptoms? And should we not have a better solution for pain and chronic conditions than to keep pumping chemicals into our systems or allowing ourselves to be cut open?
Well, I believe all of these are all valid concerns and that we should be examining alternative, complementary and minimally invasive therapies to resolve health issues. While many of us are familiar with the basics of chiropractic treatment, we may be less familiar with the concept of dry needling. I interviewed Dr. David Fishkin, a pioneer of this treatment to understand more about dry needling – how it works and the health issues it helps resolve.

How Dr. Fishkin stumbled upon dry needling.

Dr. Fishkin is a trained chiropractor who has been practicing this therapy for over 30 years. He shared with me the story of how he discovered the beneficial impact of dry needling almost accidentally. He was working with an anesthesiologist, Dr. Adam Dorin, who was performing pain management therapies using trigger point injections. At the time, they noticed how patients were responding quicker to the therapies than seemed reasonable. It was theorized at the time that the very action of mechanically inserting the needle into the tissue was working even before the actual drugs.
Dr. Fishkin noted that there were significantly improved clinical outcomes, which seemed to be the result of the needling action. He then learned about different injection techniques and also started to use solid filiform needles to perform dry needling therapies on patients. He also discovered that there was a lot of literature on the subject; in support of this hypothesis and that some of it dated back to the 1940s. Dr. Fishkin set up the Dry Needling Institute, and since 2008 has been offering certification courses for candidates who want to learn this therapy.

What is dry needling?

Dr. Fishkin describes dry needling as “a specialized treatment of the soft tissues of the body.” Soft tissue of the body includes the muscles, nerves, tendons (which attach muscle to bone), ligaments (which attach bone to bone) and other soft tissue called fascia. He explained how nerves originate in the spine and then disperse through the body through the various soft tissues. What causes pain is when those nerves are trapped or compressed by the tissue because of injury or any other reason. The pain may manifest in places other than where it originates. So for instance, pain that appears to be originating in the back could actually be because of trapped nerves in the leg. This is what he calls peripheral nerve entrapment, which is then freed by the dry needling technique.
In the course of our conversation Dr. Fishkin differentiates between acupuncture and dry needling. He explains how the former is based on the Chinese system of meridians and has specific points, while the latter is a western system that is anatomy based. Listen to my complete conversation with him in this episode of The Adiel Gorel Show. 
Adiel Gorel

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