DRY NEEDLING

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a technique that uses filament needles, which are needles that do not deliver fluid ("dry"), to release trigger points (TP) for pain relief and improved muscle function.

 

A TP is like a light switch that is stuck in the on position. Trigger points are those painful lumps in your muscles that radiate pain when you press or squeeze on them. Common places to find them include your upper back, the jaw muscles, the buttock and calf muscles and the front of the thighs.

Oxygen levels in the trigger point (TP) are lower than relaxed muscles. The pH of a TP is much lower, which means the soft tissue is more acidic. These conditions cause a cascade effect causing pain provoking chemicals to get stuck in the TP.

 

Releasing TPs with dry needling immediately changes the biochemical environment in the muscle fibers and the surrounding tissue. When the TP is released, circulation is restored. This reestablishes normal oxygen levels and removes painful chemicals that collect around the nerve endings. Which turns off that light switch.

Image by Asher Ward

Can Dry Needling Help Me?

Dry needling is offered as a cash based service and can be purchased as separate sessions initially, especially to determine if this intervention is right for the patient. Once the patient and therapist determine the plan of care the sessions can be purchased in a bundle for a discounted price.

  • TMJ

  • Neck pain

  • Abnormal posture caused by tight muscles

  • Headaches

    • Tension

    • Migraine

  • Shoulder pain

    • Impingement & rotator cuff tendonitis

  • Post surgical pain

  • Post stroke pain

  • Mid or lower back muscle pain

  • Joint & soft tissue pain

  • Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

  • IT band syndrome

  • Piriformis syndrome

  • Patellofemoral dysfunction

  • Painful limps

  • Sciatica pain

  • Arthritis pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Polmyalgia Rheumatica

  • And more...

Dry Needling FAQs

Does dry needling hurt?

Each person's pain threshold is different, so the response from patients can vary. In general, the discomfort should not exceed a moderate intensity. Some people don't feel the needle at all. The PT will pace your treatment so the experience is well tolerated and successful.

How will I feel after my treatment?

Once the muscle is relaxed, it will feel soft and heavy. Some patients describe an achy and fatigued sensation for a few days. The original symptoms will feel improved. Cold packing can help alleviate any temporary discomfort from the procedure.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of treatments depends on the size of the muscle(s) involved. Hip, thigh, and back muscles are big and may require more time as they can have more trigger points that need treatment. Your PT will estimate the number of treatments you may need at the time of your initial evaluation.

How does dry needling differ from acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an Eastern Medicine approach inserting the acupuncture needle into energy points within Meridians that correspond to body parts and functions. The needles are left in the tissue as the patient rests lying on a flat table.

 

Dry needling requires the therapist's active movement of the filament to release the trigger point(s) by activating a local twitch reflex which feels like a quick muscle twitch. Dry Needling is part of a larger treatment plan that will include other aspects such as joint movements, stretches or strengthening exercises to be completed before or after the dry needling treatment.

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