Dry Needling (DN) is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain. It can promote healing after injury and improves a patient’s ability to move with less pain. DN is a therapeutic treatment that involves inserting a very thin filament needle into a “trigger point” or muscle spasm that refers pain to a specific area of the body.
DN treatment of active trigger points increases healing time and reduces pain by:
- Increasing blood flow to the muscle tissue
- Improving muscles ability to stretch/relax with movement
- Decreasing tension in the muscles to help reduce pain and strain
- Deactivating painful trigger points
- Improve the brains ability to activate muscles, inhibit pain and improve function.
Muscular spasms and trigger points are common following an injury or due to degenerative processes and act to compress nerves and other surrounding tissues. Introducing a dry needle into these active trigger points can provide immediate and significant relief of symptoms.
Increased nerve compression can lead to irritation of the nerves and joints causing commonly treated conditions such as:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Tendonitis and muscle strain
- Disc pathology (low back)
- Neck pain and tension headaches
- Piriformis syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic pain
- Radiculopathy (nerve pain)
It is a common misconception that dry needling is like acupuncture. Although the tool we use is similar in that it is a very thin needle, our evaluation process, treatment and goals of the technique are very different from acupuncture. Our therapists will evaluate your neuromuscular system (nerves and muscles) and treat specific muscle tissue with the overall goal of improving movement. Our physical therapists will fully evaluate the function of your neuromuscular system to determine what tissues are contributing to your painful limitations and apply the dry needling techniques to improve healing, decrease pain and increase your ability to perform activities without limitations.