Dry Needling (Preventative Care)
What is dry needling?
Dry needling is a powerful technique that can relax tight and painful muscle tissue. Dry needling is a minimally invasive treatment where a thin, monofilament needle is inserted into dysfunctional muscle tissue. This technique is mainly uses as a physical therapy to treat muscle dysfunction, including:
- Trigger Points
Recent studies have proven that the effects of dry needling include increased blood flow, decreased muscle tightness, and an increase in Beta-Endorphins which act as the body’s natural pain reliever. The goal of this procedure is to reduce pain, improve ROM (Range of Motion), and restore function.
What is the procedure of this therapy?
Dry needling is a therapeutic procedure in which a solid filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point to decrease or eliminate local and/or referred pain. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple contracted knots which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
What are the risks of feeling pain during treatment?
Everyone experiences pain differently, but most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The most common “painful” sensation occurs when a local muscle twitch response is elicited. This is typically described as muscle “cramping” or “deep muscle ache” that lasts 1-2 seconds. Most patients have decreased pain and increased mobility immediately after receiving dry needling. However, some patients may experience muscle soreness after treatment, similar to post-workout muscle aching. This soreness usually resolves after a few hours.
Typical post treatment care includes:
- Specific Exercise
What to expect after the therapy?
Depending on the amount of soreness the individual experiences in response to the treatment, it is recommended that the patient applies heat or ice over the area, as well as perform gentle stretches and modify general activities.
What is the possibility of the healthy effectiveness?
Dry needling is a relatively new and very effective treatment used by physical therapists to treat muscle pain and dysfunction. The technique is implemented by highly trained therapists and is utilized as a compliment to traditional physical therapy treatments. Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. Again, the goal is to try to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed is expected.