Podcast|March 2, 2024

Poking into Pain: A Deep Dive into Dry Needling

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Barbara cagnie

Barbara Cagnie

Barbara is a physiotherapist and manual therapist and a professor at the University of Ghent with a special interest in the treatment of neck pain. She has published lots of papers on the topic including various studies on dry needling.


In this podcast episode, Barbara Cagnie, a physiotherapist and manual therapist, discusses the topic of dry needling, providing valuable insights into its definition, physiological effects, and clinical applications. Dry needling is described as a technique used by physiotherapists to treat myofascial pain, with the insertion of thin filiform needles into specific trigger points aiming to reduce pain and restore muscle function. Barbara highlights the physiological basis of dry needling, emphasizing its effects on peripheral and central systems, as well as its potential impact on pain and inflammation.

The discussion delves into the differences between active and latent trigger points, reliability in identifying trigger points, and the mechanism of referred pain. Barbara also addresses the evidence supporting the efficacy of dry needling in various musculoskeletal disorders, particularly in neck pain, highlighting the need for ongoing research to further explore its clinical applications.

The conversation touches on the contraindications and potential risks of dry needling, emphasizing the importance of proper training and anatomical knowledge to minimize adverse events. The future of dry needling is also considered, with mentions of ultrasound-guided and electrical dry needling techniques.

Barbara’s expertise and comprehensive explanations serve to demystify dry needling and shed light on its clinical relevance. Her insights not only provide valuable information for physiotherapists but also instill curiosity about the potential of this technique in optimizing patient care.


Transcript and Infographic

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