Dry Needling - What is it?

January 28, 2020

 

 

Dry needling is a tool physical therapists use alongside other treatment methods to aid in speeding up recovery of muscle dysfunction, decreasing pain, and decreasing discomfort. Dry needling is often used to increase range of motion that is restricted by scar tissue or muscle tightness. Dry needling is frequently used to help with joint issues, osteoarthritis (OA), tendinitis, headaches (migraine & tension), and repetitive motion disorders.

 

Our certified physical therapist places a filiform (fine, short, stainless steel) needle(s) into the affected area. However, no fluid is injected into the body thus giving this technique its "dry" name. 

 

Typically during dry needling the needle is placed into a trigger point in the muscle (a trigger point is an area of knotted or hard muscle).

 

Each muscle in our body was designed to do a job. When a muscle is no longer able to do its job, dysfunction occurs.

 

Inserting the needle into the trigger point causes a Spontaneous Electrical Activation of the muscle (AKA "the twitch"). This helps to eliminate the referred pain signal and helps to release the knot or spasm. 

 

In the video above you see the therapist using a technique of dry needling called pistoning. This is a technique of moving the needle in and out of the trigger point. This can be done at a rapid pace or at a slower pace - achieving the same result. 

 

Dry needling is NOT acupuncture and it is important to know the difference. Acupuncture focuses on meridians, pulse, and energy flow into the treatment. Where dry needling focuses on muscle dysfunction.

 

Talk with your SOS physical therapist or physician to find out if you are candidate for dry needling.

 

 

***As with all procedures there are potential risks and contraindications - these will be discussed before proceeding with treatment ***

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