What is Dry Needling?


What the heck is "dry needling?" you might be asking yourself. Basically, it's a therapy that uses thin acupuncture needles to help relieve pain and tension. The needles are inserted into certain points in the body to target trigger points- which are tiny knots of muscle tissue that can cause pain and restricted movement. If you're an athlete, or work a repetitive job, you know how crucial it is to keep your body loose and limber- so why not give dry needling a try? It's helped me loosen up my muscles and relieved some pain in my neck and shoulders. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis!



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1. What is dry needling and what are its benefits

2. What to expect during a dry needling treatment

3. How long does a typical treatment last

4. Who can benefit from dry needling

5. Is there any risk associated with this type of treatment









1. What is "Dry Needling"?


Dry needling is a technique that involves the insertion of a needle into tight muscles to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Trigger points are identified through palpation and then treated with the use of needles. Dry needling helps you find relief from chronic pain by disrupting the cycle of spasm, pain, and tense knots in your muscle tissue. It can be used for many different conditions including neck tension, back pain, knee stiffness or frozen shoulder syndrome.



2. You can expect:


The thin needle will not cause much discomfort as it penetrates the skin. However if there are sensitive trigger points within the muscle them you may feel a sensation like an electric shock – ‘the twitch response'. The patient also may experience pain which feels similar to what he/she would expect from his problem; this can help diagnose certain issues by giving off different symptoms depending on where their trouble lies in relation with other problems at hand (e:g., recent injury)


You may feel sore immediately after treatment in the area of your body that was treated. This is normal but does not always occur, and it can take a few hours before you start to notice any stiffness or pain from each session. The degree for each person varies based on location of insertion- some might experience mild irritation while others will feel more due to how much spasm is present and what part of the body; however typically this feeling lasts for about 24 -48 hours.



3. How long are treatments:


The therapist will only focus on one or two muscles at a time to see how your body responds. A treatment session lasts about half an hour, with dry needling taking 1-2 minutes for each spot of pain you want treated. The discomfort or soreness lasts for around a day after, before it starts feeling better again because this process works by loosening up knots that cause discomfort.



4. Who can benefit:


Dry needling is an excellent way to help manage pain in many areas of your body. It's usually recommended as part of a larger physical therapy treatment plan, which also includes exercise and stretching/manual therapies - but don't forget about the benefits that come from using this technique on its own!

Here are some common problems that dry needling can help?


Back or neck pain

Tennis elbow

Headaches and migraines

Joint problems

Myofascial pain

Pelvic pain

Plantar fasciitis

Shin splints

Shoulder impingement

Spinal issues

TMJ

Tendonitis

Trigger points

Whiplash



5. Risks:


There are a few side effects that you may experience while trying this therapy. For example, some people report soreness and bruising as well as fatigue but these things only last temporarily so don't worry!

The most common drawback is probably going to be mild pain, achiness, weakness, or soreness at first until your body gets used to the sensation.





Dry needling is a relatively new technique that is growing in popularity. It can be an effective way to treat muscle pain and tightness, but it’s important to go to a skilled therapist who understands the risks associated with the procedure. The cost is also low, making it a more affordable treatment option for many people. Unfortunately many insurance companies do not cover this service at this time. If you’re interested in trying dry needling, let us know. We would be happy to discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have.


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