What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a skilled technique that uses a thin, solid filament needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of pain and movement impairments. The goal of dry needling is to elicit a local twitch response at the trigger point (or painful “knot”) within the muscle. These painful “knots” are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. By eliciting a local twist response it releases the trigger point resulting in improved blood flow and reduces muscle tension leading to decreased pain, increased ROM and strength and improved function.
What conditions could benefit from with dry needling?
- Acute pain & Chronic pain
- Adhesive capsulitis
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel
- Plantar fasciitis
- IT Band Syndrome
- Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
- Low back pain
- Sports injuries
- Muscle spasms
How does dry needling fit into a treatment plan?
Dry needling is typically one technique that’s part of a larger treatment plan. Dry needling is done in conjunction with manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, exercise and stretching in order to achieve optimal results.
What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
Dry needling and acupuncture use similar needles, but the two are very different treatments. Acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine, is a technique used to balance the flow of energy or “qi” believed to flow through meridians in your body. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles and supported by evidence-based research for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions.
What are the benefits of dry needling?:
- Pain control
- Restores motion and function
- Reduces muscle tension
- Desensitizes supersensitive structures
- Normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor end plates
What can you expect with dry needling treatment?
During dry needling, the patient may only feel a cramping sensation locally or they may feel a referral of pain, similar to the symptoms for which they are seeking treatment.
It is common to feel sore after treatment, either initially or the next day. The type of soreness you experience is similar to having completed an intense work out at the gym, a “work out soreness,” that can last up to 24 to 48 hours after treatment. We suggest applying ice or heat to the area to help relieve soreness.
While dry needling is a safe form of treatment when performed by a certified clinician, there are a few possible side effects including bruising, fatigue and in rare instances dizziness or fainting.