Dry needling is one of the most popular alternative treatment options for pain management today. While it may be a new treatment to many on this side of the world, dry needling has been around for a very long time.
Of course, if you are new to dry needling therapy, you probably have a few questions, like what exactly is dry needling? And what are its benefits? We get it–even the name can sound intimidating if you are not familiar with this popular therapy!
Here’s all you need to know about dry needling and why it’s becoming such a popular option for health and wellness.
What Is Dry Needling, and How Does it Work?
Dry needling uses a small needle to address different types of wellness concerns; however, it is different from acupuncture as a practice. Where acupuncture deals with balancing energy channels and meridians, dry needling uses the same needle to improve function within a particular tissue, whether muscle, tendon, ligament or joint.
What Are the Benefits of Dry Needling?
The insertion of the needle into that tissue alters the physiology and the chemistry of said tissue. From a physiological standpoint, it improves circulation, reduces any restriction that may be present, and causes tiny, almost microscopic damage to said tissue to facilitate your body’s self-repair process. It also helps stimulate inflammation, which is a crucial stage of healing and the beginning of recovery. Facilitating inflammation can be an essential step in a physical therapist’s practice and improving the body’s ability to heal itself.
When used as part of a comprehensive physical therapy plan, dry needling may provide relief for some muscular pain and stiffness. In addition, easing the trigger points may improve flexibility and increase the range of motion. That’s why this method is often used to treat sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia pain.
What Is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a sore or tight spot in the body that is painful to the touch. Trigger points can disrupt function, limit your range of motion, and cause feelings of pain or tenderness. Pain may radiate out from the trigger point and cause pain elsewhere in your body. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, the needle can decrease tension and tightness in the area, increase blood flow, and reduce pain.
What Is the Non-Trigger Point Technique?
Dry needling treatments are sometimes used to treat a broader landscape of the central nervous system. This form of therapy is often referred to as the non-trigger point needling technique. Instead of inserting needles on the pain point, the dry needling practitioner might insert them in close proximity to address pain and discomfort more broadly.
This technique is based on the idea that pain is caused by greater nerve or muscular issues than just localized to one area.
Does Dry Needling Hurt?
The prick of the needle is often what people say they feel most, but there can be some soreness in the muscle afterward, as well. Having said that, the needles are quite thin, so this sensation shouldn’t last for too long. This therapy should not cause any more pain than a deep tissue massage would–which also causes discomfort and sometimes even bruising as you work out knots and tight muscles.
While some patients feel it more than others, the pain is highly tolerable and won’t cause any major discomfort. For most patients, the worst part is the anticipation of the needle rather than the actual procedure itself.
So Is Dry Needling Right for Me?
If you have pain, stiffness, achiness, or want to improve performance for any particular reason, including health, exercise, sleep, or if you just want to learn more about your body, dry needling is definitely worth a try. The results can be both immediate and long-lasting.
How Safe is Dry Needling?
The benefits of dry needling are vast and well-documented. If you have any concerns about your chronic pain, or if the medications just aren’t working anymore, this therapy may be what you’ve been looking for. You can also choose to talk with a doctor to get a professional opinion on whether it’s right for you.
Dry needling is an extremely valuable tool that can help many people who suffer from muscle tension but don’t want surgery or medication as their only option. If surgical procedures like joint replacements are not something that interests you or seems too risky, then dry needle therapy could work for persistent pains plaguing your joints with no invasive procedure necessary.
Where Can I Get Dry Needling Therapy?
Dry needling can be done in several different places, and many therapists specialize in this type of treatment for various conditions. An occupational or physical therapist typically performs dry needle therapy, but it may also be administered by chiropractors, acupuncturists, health coaches–or even medical doctors.
Why Choose USA Sports for Dry Needling Services?
USA Sports Therapy offers the safest, most trusted physical therapy services whether you are interested in dry needle therapy alone or as part of a more complete plan, including other therapeutic modalities like massage therapy or acupuncture to help your chronic pain issues.
Our team consists of experienced, licensed professionals who will guide you through every step of your recovery and will provide you with answers to all of your questions.
We encourage you to give us a call today to learn more about dry needling at USA Sports Therapy. We are always ready to help!