What is dry needling? You may have heard the term or may have not, but dry needling has quickly become an option to treat individuals suffering from low back pain, neck pain, and many other aches and pains throughout the body. Dry needling is a specific technique to treat musculoskeletal pain and movement dysfunction utilizing a sterile disposable fine filament needle.
Dry needling was developed in the 1970s and has progressed to be supported by modern medical science. Dry needling can offer results that conventional medical techniques don't offer or provide in a limited capacity. It is not acupuncture, nor does it follow traditional Chinese medicine philosophy.
Needling works through a variety of systems to achieve results of reducing pain and improving mobility of the human body for a wide variety of conditions. These conditions include soft tissue injuries such as acute muscle strains and ligament sprains, as well as overuse injuries such as tendonitis. Pain from arthritis and joint related pain can also be relieved with needling at the shoulder, knee, back, and neck.
Specific pathologies such as sciatica, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and headaches can be treated with dry needling, just to name a few. These conditions can be felt by a wide variety of people including athletes, desk workers, manual laborers, elderly, and to those following injury or surgery. Chronic and acute pathologies can be effectively treated with dry needling.
Needling is typically pain free and with minimal discomfort for the patient. Many patients will admit being nervous before trying needling, but most patients will tell you that it was not uncomfortable, and quite a few feel relief and pressure relief upon application. Blood flow can be stimulated to increase healing of effected tissues and also inhibition of biochemical responsible for inflammation and pain.
So, if you are interested in dry needling or have heard good things about it and think it might be answer to your aches and pains, schedule an appointment with a trained therapist. Like any other therapy appointment, you will be medically screened and made sure that you are safe and appropriate for needling. Those on blood thinners or with blood borne diseases will be approached cautiously but considered for possible treatment.
Those deemed appropriate for dry needling will then be taken through a full manual examination to determine how needling can be applied to improve your current condition. Often, other modalities such as electrical stimulation, heat, and ultrasound can be combined with needling for an enhanced effect upon effected tissues.
Needles will be applied to symptomatic or painful areas, individualized for each patient. Many patients will have an immediate effect from needling or within 24-48 hours following treatment. Others may require multiple sessions, but a majority of patients will report improvement in less than four visits. Your therapist will provide you with an exercise/mobility program to accompany the needling session and progress you towards independent management.