Dry Needling Has the Power to Ease Your Chronic Pain
From minor sports injuries like pulled muscles to permanent muscle damage, dry needling has proven to be a relief method growing in popularity. Based on traditional Chinese acupuncture therapy, this new needling technique could be the pain alleviator you’ve been searching for.
There are many names for dry needling including trigger point needling, Westernized acupuncture, functional needling, intramuscular stimulation, and medical acupuncture. All employ the same principles and practices.
When Is Dry Needling Used?
If you have soreness or lingering knots in certain muscles, dry needling can be an option to correct it. Candidates will have sensitive pressure points that are painful when pressed. Such conditions can arise from overuse of the muscles, accidents, or injuries.
What Is Dry Needling?
This painless therapy is conducted by qualified professionals using ultra-thin, sterile needles gently inserted into the tensed muscle causing it to relax. In this way, the muscle pain is alleviated.
Your body may react with an involuntary twitch which is normal and expected.
How Was Dry Needling Developed?
A new theory emerged in a book written by Dr. Ronald Melzack, regarding how the body and brain decipher pain. When the body produced a pain signal, it takes the intended path into the brain to relay the information.
Once this signal reaches the brain, the body can respond in numerous ways such as muscle hurt, fainting, emotional distress, or sweating/cold sweats. By performing a dry needle method in the body part that’s creating the pain signal, the brain must re-evaluate its reaction.
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How Does Dry Needling Work?
The sensation of the needle insertion sends a message along a specific path to the brain. This energy message is received by the part of the brain reacting to noxious stimuli called the thalamus. The thalamus then sends a reply to the muscle to relax or elongate back into its natural position.
What Conditions Can Be Helped by Dry Needling?
This painless therapy has been known to help sufferers of:
· Myofascial Pain
· Lower back pain
· Joint pain including hip, knee, and shoulder pain
· Neck pain and chronic headaches
· Plantar fasciitis
· Carpal Tunnel
Who Can Benefit from Dry Needling?
Chronic pain patients who have not benefited from physical therapy may enjoy pain relief with ongoing dry needling sessions. Clients with chronic sore muscles or muscle tightness can also find relief. If you are unwilling to take medications such as muscle relaxers or strong prescription drugs for pain relief due to the risk of addiction, dry needling can be a safe, effective alternative.
Other benefits include increased blood flow, range of motion, and ease of muscle tension or tightness. Since this therapy is a painless, non-surgical method, it can be utilized on patients of nearly any age after minor injuries or sports mishaps, as well as patients who perform a monotonous range of motion tasks on a daily basis. These would include construction workers, athletes, teachers, hair care professionals, and more.
How Dry Needling Promotes Healing of Damaged Muscles
If you’re a patient with chronic muscular problems not related to rotator cuff damage and the like, you can still get not only pain relief but healing benefits from dry needling. This procedure promotes blood flow and renewed life to the muscle fibers by creating a microscopic lesion. The body reacts by sending blood into the area to repair the lesion.
Why Do Some People Experience Pain During Dry Needling?
If you are treating a severe muscle issue with dry needling sessions, sometimes you may feel a little pain. This is nothing more than the body readjusting itself. When the muscles relax out of a tight knot there may be some discomfort involved with that but it doesn’t last long. This has nothing to do with the actual dry needling procedure but more to do with the body readjusting.
Within a few days, the soreness will subside and your body will be in much better shape than before the treatment as blood begins to flow into the muscle fibers and they begin to repair themselves.
Are There Any Side Effects with Dry Needling?
Everyone is different so it follows that everyone’s body is different and their reactions to new therapies can vary widely. However, the vast majority of dry needling clients experience a pain-free session that eases their chronic pain.
In the case of side effects, the following have been reported:
· Temporary pain or soreness
· Skin irritation
· Fatigue or fainting
None of the side effects last long and the payoff of chronic pain relief may be worth risking such mild side effects. You are the one to determine that.
How Long Does a Dry Needling Session Last?
The typical dry needling session lasts for under 30 minutes. It may be performed alone or as part of a more intensive therapy session. Therapists generally conduct the dry needling first, then add range of motion exercises or strengthening tasks to the repertoire.
How Many Needles Are Used in Dry Needling?
This depends on the severity of the pain and the targeted areas. Typically a therapist won’t do head-to-toe treatments, especially in the beginning but rather concentrate on the most painful areas first. Generally, about a dozen needles are used in one specific target region of the body.
How Many Dry Needling Sessions Are Necessary?
This of course depends greatly on each person’s body reaction and the severity of their pain. If you have a long-term pain issue it may take more sessions to iron it out. Sometimes for minor sports muscle damage, it only takes a couple of sessions.
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Who Can Practice Dry Needling Therapy?
In the state of Florida, physical therapists are typically the only licensed dry needling practitioners. Since dry needling is often used in combination with other physical therapy techniques, it makes sense that it would be conducted by the same therapist for convenience and affordability.
Where Can I Get Dry Needling Sessions?
As part of our therapeutic services, dry needling treatments are offered at Pursuit Physical Therapy as an integrated portion of our layered chronic pain treatments. Our qualified therapists are available to provide more information about dry needling or to answer your questions.
Our physical therapy team is waiting to assist you today. Contact us to schedule a personal evaluation or to have all your questions about dry needling answered.