At Johnson County Healthcare Center
WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING?
Trigger point dry needling is a physical therapy technique that decreases pain in your muscles. Our goal, as musculoskeletal specialists, is to restore normal muscle and joint function. The dry needling technique is used in conjunction with a comprehensive evaluation that complements other treatment techniques to decrease pain and restore function. While similar to acupuncture, this technique focuses on reducing pain in specific muscular areas.
Dry needling physical therapy uses a solid filament needle to treat muscle trigger points. These points are a highly localized, hyper-irritable spot in a tight band of skeletal muscle fibers. These muscle trigger points play a role in producing and maintaining the pain cycle. They can alter muscle performance, as well as generate pain along common referral patterns. These points develop in muscle for various reasons, including referred or local pain, inflammation, athletic injury or other causes.
HOW DOES DRY NEEDLING WORK?
Dry Needling stimulates the muscle to produce a local twitch response. This allows muscle spasms to relax and inhibits pain at a local and systemic level. Muscles relax and reduce compression on joints, nerves and tissue. Patients typically report immediate pain relief that can last a few hours to a few weeks to allow for restoration of normal muscle function
ACUPUNCTURE VS. DRY NEEDLING
What is the difference between dry needling physical therapy and acupuncture? The dry needling technique uses the same tool that acupuncture uses, but with a different theoretical purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners use the holistic treatment of acupuncture to normalize energy, or Chi, in the body to cure syndromes. Although an acupuncture needle is used in dry needling, dry needling is based on traditional reasoning of Western medicine. The sites for the needle insertion are located in specific myofascial trigger points in skeletal muscle, which can differ from acupuncture.
What to Expect
You will be evaluated by a licensed physical therapist and a personalized plan of care will be designed to meet your individual needs. Together, you and your therapist will establish clear goals and begin treatment to help you heal in a positive and encouraging environment.
Most patients will feel soreness from a few hours to two days, which is the normal response from dry needling. Bruising is expected sometimes within blood vessel areas. Any time needles are used there is a risk of infection. However, our highly trained therapists use a single packed, disposable and sterile needle during treatment.
CONDITIONS THAT BENEFIT FROM DRY NEEDLING
- Low back and neck pain, including radiculopathy
- Shoulder and arm pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, impingement
- Hip and leg pain, sciatica, muscle strain, calf-tightness/spasm
- Foot and ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis
- Headache, face and jaw pain
- Fibromyalgia… And more!