How can dry needling help you?

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling uses a single-use needle, similar to acupuncture needles, without injecting anything into the body. We insert the needles into, alongside, and around muscles, connective tissue, and nerves for the management of pain and dysfunction. The goal is to stimulate the healing response for a variety of conditions. 

Dry needling is a modern, science-based treatment based on western medical research for the treatment of the neuromuscular system that affects muscle tightness, joint mobility, pain, and irritation. It is not acupuncture (which is based on traditional Chinese medicine that attempts to move qi along meridian lines of the body’s organs).

What is it used for?

Dry needling may be a great choice for you if you experience:

  • Muscle, ligament, or joint pain
  • Muscle and joint stiffness
  • Imbalances – feeling like one side is different from the other
  • Persistent pain that may not have responded to other treatments
  • Prolonged healing of an injury

How does Dry Needling Work?

When the needle is inserted into the tissue, it can lead to a physiological response. For example, a local twitch response can occur, causing a reflex of the muscle that can lead to decreased muscle contraction, reduced chemical irritation, improved mobility, and pain reduction. There can be a neurophysiological, electrophysiological, and cellular effect leading to improved blood, neuromuscular activation, initiation of inflammatory (healing) response, and activation of areas on the brain that process pain and emotion of pain. Dry needling is often used in conjunction with other forms of physical therapy as part of a larger treatment.  (See what else we treat here.)

Does it hurt?

Not really. There can be a small pinch with needle insertion, or the muscle twitch. The thing to remember is, the tissue we are trying to treat is not ideal in the first place. Dry needling facilitates that healing and recovery to help lessen overall pain. Therefore, it generally hurts no more than the pain or dysfunction that caused you to seek treatment in the first place. No need to worry. Even if you hate needles, this tends to be fairly mild discomfort.

Can I talk to someone and see if it’s right for me?

Absolutely. We offer FREE 15-min phone consultations with Kara Howe, our Doctor of Physical Therapy certified in dry needling. She can talk you through when using this would be appropriate, what to expect, and how it can be a part of your overall treatment. She will also offer it at the evaluation if she feels it would be a good fit for you. Give us a call to find out more, or schedule online here.

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