While the procedure's name may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting, and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled practitioners that are certified in the procedure. A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
Dry needling is typically applied to an area of the body that has a "Trigger Point." A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band of a muscle fiber that can change function, restrict the range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease the tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local or referred pain.
It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools only and performed by different practitioners most of the time. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function, and orthopedic tests.
Dry needling treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Instead, it often is part of a broader musculoskeletal approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy, and chiropractic interventions into the treatment of the patient.
Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, foot, calf, thigh, hip, and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.
Once the needles are in place we can do a variety of things to assist the tissue to relax via a Tens unit or techniques that affect how the needle interfaces with the tissue.
Contact us if you would like to know more about it.