Services & Techniques

DRY NEEDLING

Dry Needling

Dry needling (DN) is a technique that is based on modern western medicine to address dysfunction and pain in the body. It utilizes a sterile monofilament needle that is inserted into the muscle tissue that causes a micro-injury. This micro-injury increases blood flow to the area, breaks up shortened tissues, normalizes the inflammatory response, and ultimately decreases pain.  DN initiates the body’s natural healing response in the tissues which ultimately reduces pain and can lead to improvement in function.

Dry Needling

Dry needling (DN) is a technique that is based on modern western medicine to address dysfunction and pain in the body. It utilizes a sterile monofilament needle that is inserted into the muscle tissue that causes a micro-injury. This micro-injury increases blood flow to the area, breaks up shortened tissues, normalizes the inflammatory response, and ultimately decreases pain.  DN initiates the body’s natural healing response in the tissues which ultimately reduces pain and can lead to improvement in function.

Dry Needling FAQ

Integrative dry needling is a highly effective form of Physical Therapy for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. It is not appropriate for all conditions or pathologies and the use of the technique will be at the discretion of your PT.

The biggest difference between these two techniques is the theory or how these techniques are applied to the human body. Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) typically relies on theories within traditional Chinese medicine.  These theories are not based in scientific law.  Dry needling techniques are based on the laws of modern medicine utilizing anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and many other scientific fields.

The biggest difference between these two techniques is the theory or how these techniques are applied to the human body. Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) typically relies on theories within traditional Chinese medicine.  These theories are not based in scientific law.  Dry needling techniques are based on the laws of modern medicine utilizing anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and many other scientific fields.

There are many conditions that are appropriate to be treated with dry needling.   A short list of conditions include: neck, back, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfers elbow, headache including migraine and tension, jaw pain, buttock pain, sciatica, muscle strains and spasms, and plantar fasciitis.  This is not an all-inclusive list and a full evaluation will be completed by your physical therapist to determine appropriateness.

The monofilament needle is smaller compared to other needles used for injections or vaccines.  This should result in less pain perceived. The smaller needle used allows us to penetrate the skin versus cutting the skin which helps reduce discomfort that may be felt with the procedure.  We make every effort to reduce discomfort that may occur with the procedure, however at times a local twitch response may be felt.  This twitch response is a normal occurrence and at times may be desirable.  This sensation can be described as a small electric shock, cramp, or a deep ache sensation.  We will do our best to make adjustments so the treatment is comfortable and effective for you.

Common responses to treatment include immediate relief of symptoms and an increase in range of motion.  There is a chance of soreness, either immediately following treatment or the following day, but does not occur in all people.  If present, the soreness may last 1-2 days and use of heat or light massage may assist in alleviating soreness. Bruising after treatment may also occur depending on needling location.

It is unlikely but possible that you may have a temporary increase in symptoms.  Inform your PT if it lasts past the 1-2 day window.  Your program can be adjusted; Increase in soreness is not an indication of treatment effectiveness for your condition.

Your PT will evaluate what your specific needs are and prescribe exercise, modalities, manual therapy or other therapeutic interventions that may benefit you.

This will vary depending on the persons overall health, well-being, and general condition of the injury.  Our goal is to disrupt the pain cycle without pharmacological means.  Your PT will discuss your treatment plan with you after your individualized evaluation.

Do not eat 30 min before the treatment

Be well hydrated but empty your bladder prior to treatment

Wear lose fitting clothing, shorts, or bathing suit for easy access to your painful areas.

References: Information from this FAQ is adapted from the foundation course offered through the integrative dry needling institute.

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