Have you been wondering what dry needling is and if it may be beneficial to you? We are here to provide some basic information about this technique and how it can be incorporated into your physical therapy treatment. Dry needling (DN) can sound scary at first, but once a patient is educated on the expectations and benefits associated with this technique they usually become more comforted and open to the idea.
What’s the point? The goal of the treatment is to elicit a “twitch” response to deactivate the trigger point. This allows the muscle to be restored to its normal length and firing pattern to improve function and decrease pain.
What is dry needling? It is a skilled manual therapy intervention that advances a small solid filament needle into a “trigger point” of a taut band of tissue that is causing pain. When the muscle responds to this stimulation it most commonly feels like a short-lasting muscle cramp, twitch, or ache.
How long does it take? A good outcome can often be noted immediately with decreased pain, as well as increased range of motion, strength and/or flexibility. Longer lasting results can occur within a few sessions, depending on the duration and complexity of symptoms. As with other treatment techniques, there may be side effects that include but are not limited to general muscle soreness, such as what you would experience after exercising.
Can it help me? DN can be beneficial for many types of musculoskeletal pain such as; low back pain, neck pain or headaches, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, hip pain, and plantar fasciitis. It is not typically used as an isolated technique, but as one tool in a box of many to help speed a patient’s overall recovery and return to activity.
Are you ready now? Dry needling is an extremely valuable physical therapy technique in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. The positive results achieved with this technique should be reinforced with other treatments, including therapeutic exercises to re-educate the muscles and decrease the reoccurrence of trigger points. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at our Fort Collins or Windsor location so we can get you feeling better faster!