What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a fairly new procedure now performed by Physical Therapists that takes a solid monofilament needle and penetrates the skin to an intended structure subcutaneously. Well, it sounds a lot like performing Acupuncture. The answer is yes, it does. It uses the exact same kind of needle and the points of entry can look very similar. If you were on the receiving end of things, it could even feel very similar. The major difference is the philosophies and thought process for performing the techniques.
One technique for dry needling is to decrease or diminish the effects of a trigger point. A trigger point is a tight band or knot that can occur in any skeletal muscle. It is usually a result of some dysfunction caused by stress, over-use, misuse, and/or weakness. Another technique for the use of dry needles is to provide micro-trauma to help stimulate the healing process. This is usually targeted to areas where there is poor blood supply like tendons or where the tendons connect into the bone. By providing this microtrauma, it increases the blood presence which in turn will speed up recovery times. Dry needling can also target nerve points. Nerves are the structures that deliver the pain from the body to where the pain is perceived in the brain. By stimulating nerve points, dry needling can change and alter the pain signal to potentially give some relief.
What can dry needles treat?
- Myofascial pain
- Chronic Neck/Low Back Pain
Is dry needling painful?
Most patients will not even feel the insertion of the needle. Any pain experienced is usually quick to relieve and is not long lasting.
Is dry needling safe?
Dry needling performed at Sports Spine & Industrial uses sterile, one-time use stainless steel needles. The techniques are performed by a therapist who has been trained and certified in dry needling. All adverse effects are minimized by using careful palpation skills and pre-screening patients for potential risks.
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