What is dry needling?
“Dry needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. [It ] is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, and to diminish persistent peripheral nociceptive input, and reduce or restore impairments in body structure and function, leading to improved activity and participation.” [Source: APTA document Description of Dry Needling in Clinical Practice: An Educational Resource Paper. www.apta.org/StateIssues/DryNeedling].
“Health care education and practice have developed in such a way that most professions today share some procedures, tools, or interventions with other regulated professions. It is unreasonable to expect a profession to have exclusive domain over an intervention, tool, or modality.”
“The practice of acupuncture by acupuncturists and the performance of dry needling by physical therapists differ in terms of historical, philosophical, indicative, and practical context. The performance of modern dry needling by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Physical therapists who perform dry needling do not use traditional acupuncture theories or acupuncture terminology.” [Source: APTA document Physical Therapists & the Performance of Dry Needling: An Educational Resource Paper. www.apta.org/StateIssues/DryNeedling].
What Types of Conditions Can Dry Needling Help?
- Neck/Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Hip and Gluteal Pain
- Knee Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tendonosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscular Strains/Ligament Sprains
- Chronic Pain
- Athletic Performance
Is Dry Needling Painful?
You may or may not feel the insertion of the needle. Needle manipulation is intended to produce a local twitch response that can elicit a very brief (less than a second) painful response some patients describe as a deep ache or cramp ing sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of the local twitch response and is a desirable reaction.
We expect improvements even from the first visit such as increased range of motion, ease of movement and decreased signs/symptoms. Patients often report soreness after the treatment in both the area treated and the area of referred symptoms. Typically this soreness lasts for a few hours up to 48 hours after treatment and there is occasional bruising. Soreness may be alleviated by applying ice or heat to the area and performing specific stretches for the treated muscle.