Dry Needling Explained
Dry Needling is a treatment technique used by physical therapists to alleviate pain. Dry Needling uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin to target trigger points in the skeletal muscle. Trigger points are taught bands of skeletal muscle that cause pain with compression, stretch, overload or contraction of the tissue. Dry needling is based on a modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. This treatment technique enhances the body's ability to heal, which ultimately reduces pain and restores normal muscle function.
Are Dry Needling and Acupuncture the same?
It is a common misconception that dry needling is very similar to acupuncture. Although the tool we use is similar the evaluation process, treatment, and goals of the technique are very different from acupuncture. Dry Needling is performed by a licensed physical therapist and is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research.
Who can benefit from Dry Needling?
Common types of pain treated with Dry Needling include:
- Myofascial Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Tension Headache
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Carpal Tunnel
- Shoulder Pain
Dry Needling can be used for a variety of painful problems. It is best coupled with traditional physical therapy. Dry needling has proved successful in treating most pain related problems from acute to chronic conditions.
Is Dry Needling Painful?
Dry Needling is not for everyone, and adverse effects are possible. For most people there is mild-moderate soreness following dry needling. Occasionally you may experience a "twitch response" which often feels like a quick muscle cramp or ache. These sensations are normal and even desirable at times. Following this technique muscle soreness can be felt up to 24-72 hours. The application of heat and drinking plenty of fluids usually reduces the soreness.