Dry Needling (DN) is a treatment technique that utilizes thin, solid filament needles designed to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying neural, muscular and connective tissues. DN evokes a healing response in painful Neuromusculoskeletal conditions and improves movement impairments. Typically we needle myofascial trigger points, which are painful “knots” in tight muscle tissue. These “painful knots” are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
IS DRY NEEDLING SIMILAR TO ACUPUNCTURE?
DN is NOT acupuncture or Oriental Medicine; that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy (“Qi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of disease. In fact, DN is a modern, science based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions.
WHAT CAN BE TREATED BY DRY NEEDLING?
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Such conditions include, but are not limited to: neck, back and shoulder pain; arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer’s elbow); headache, jaw pain; buttock pain, leg pain (sciatica, hamstrings strains, calf tightness/ spasms).
IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT?
Your symptoms may appear to be heightened for 24 – 48 hours, and you may be sore to the touch. This soreness is described as “work-out soreness." Heat will help minimize any soreness you may experience.
Bruising is not uncommon.
It is common to feel tired, nauseous, emotional, giggly or "loopy", and/or somewhat "out of it" after treatment. This is a normal response that can last up to an hour or two after treatment.
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