Dry needling is a physical therapy treatment involving tiny needles inserted into the skin to relieve tension in trigger points or tight bands in the muscles. Because trigger points can restrict your range of motion and cause radiating pain, dry needling can effectively relieve pain and mobilize certain parts of your body.
Dry needling is also a way to increase blood flow to specific areas. When the specialist inserts the needle into your skin, it causes your body to send more blood to the punctured site. This blood brings white blood cells to fight infection and oxygen to help generate new cells. All of this can promote healing in that area.
Many of our partner clinics offer dry needling services. If you think this could be a good treatment for you or want to schedule a tour, contact one of our physical therapy clinics today.
Conditions We Treat
Dry needling is often used on patients who have a limited range of motion in certain areas of their body due to scar tissue or muscle tightness. However, it is also used to treat a range of specific and generalized conditions:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Elbow pain
- Disc problems
- Joint problems
- TMJ disorder
- Pelvic pain
- Tension and cervicogenic headaches
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion disorders
It's important to note that this is an incomplete list intended to provide an idea of some of the conditions that dry needling can treat. Talk to your physical therapist for more information or to find out if dry needling could be an effective treatment for you.
What to Expect During Treatment
While it may sound intimidating, dry needling is entirely safe. It requires no medication or fluid (hence the "dry" aspect), which is why it's a popular alternative to more invasive procedures. Your physical therapist will likely use between 5 and 20 needles during the session, although the exact number varies depending on the situation.
Some patients experience a short-term increase in pain, although this usually dissipates within a day of treatment. Your physical therapist may recommend stretches or massages to help relieve pain symptoms faster. You might also experience light bruising or red bumps on your skin, but these also usually resolve within a day of your procedure..
The benefits outweigh these light side effects for most people. Dry needling not only offers pain relief, but it can help speed up your recovery time by releasing the lactic acid stored in muscles and sending an increase of blood flow to injured areas of your body. Furthermore, it can help improve your range of motion by relieving tension and stiffness in your soft tissue. With increased flexibility, you may have an easier time playing sports, being active and even just handling daily errands.
If you’re interested in dry needling or want to schedule an appointment for your first session, contact an Alliance clinic in your city.