Dry needling is a form of pain management that is used by physical therapists to manage pain located in the face and other muscles. It is also known as trigger point dry needling and intramuscular manual therapy. This form of pain management differs from acupuncture in that it relies on Western medical practices and is backed by clinical research regarding its efficacy.
Dry needling uses a needle without any medication or injections and inserts it into muscles.This then hits a trigger point which ultimately relieves pain.
From a clinical standpoint, dry needling works by disrupting a dysfunctional motor end plate, creating a local twitch response, and alternating muscle length both in the affected muscle and opposite muscle.
Research also suggests that muscles are stimulated for up to 72 hours after a dry needling session.
Dry needling can help a variety of conditions including neck and back pain, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, headaches, knee pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, chronic pain, muscle strains, and more. It’s a wonderful, effective method for pain relief that doesn’t rely on medications.
Prior to your appointment be sure to enjoy a light meal and wear loose comfortable clothing that can easily be rolled up or down to access wherever you might be experiencing pain.
You may notice improvements as soon as your first treatment, including increased range of motion, easier movements, and fewer symptoms than before. You might have some soreness for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days and minor bruising. Both can be relieved through the application of ice and heat and stretching as the physical therapist shows you.
A trigger point is a tight band of muscle situated among a larger muscle group. These points are sometimes tender to the touch and can cause pain to other parts of the body.
Dry needling relies on a very thin filiform needle to pierce the skin and stimulate underlying tissue and trigger points. This unique technique makes reaching tissues that are far beneath the skin accessible to physical therapists.
Because the needle used for dry needling is so thin, the paint associated with it is minimal. Additionally, the needles are sterile and the physical therapist is experienced in all forms of safety precautions to avoid exposure to any bacteria.
Dry needling is usually part of a larger treatment plan. The goal of dry needling is to release trigger points that cause pain. Research has proven that dry needling improves range of motion, reduces pain, and can relieve muscle tension.
Dry needling is legal in all states except for California, Utah, New York, Idaho, Hawaii, and Florida. This has nothing to do with the safety of dry needling and is associated more with the scope of practice for physical therapists, which does not include puncturing of skin.
Dr. Foss is a passionate chiropractor whose practice focuses on the non-invasive and non-surgical treatment of spine, joint and neuropathy disorders. Dr. Foss graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago in 1992. He brings years of experience treating patients who suffer from musculoskeletal conditions, autoimmune diseases, neurological and nutritional conditions.Dr. Foss worked in several clinics throughout the country prior to owning Cherry Creek Spine & Pain. As a result, he’s been exposed to a variety of issues and has seen first hand how Chiropractic care can change lives. He enjoys meeting new patients from all walks of life and is committed to bringing holistic care to his community.