Dry needling is a technique sometimes utilized by health care providers by inserting needles into muscles and trigger points. It involves dry (meaning, without liquid inside them) needles being inserted into the skin and the muscles beneath the skin. It has recently emerged in the last decade or so, but is separate from acupuncture, which has been around for thousands of years. If you're considering dry needling, or someone has recommended it to you, here's what you need to know first.
What are some pros of dry needling?
- Physical relief for a variety of symptoms ” One of the pros of dry needling is that it can be used to provide pain relief for so many different types of musculoskeletal conditions and symptoms. It can be extremely beneficial for a variety of patients suffering from a variety of painful or uncomfortable conditions.
- Improved muscle mobility ” The needles used in dry needling are often inserted into areas of muscle or trigger points that may be painful and/or tense. When they're inserted into these problem areas, muscle tension is reduced and mobility can improve.
- Minimally invasive ” Dry needling is minimally invasive! It does involve needles inserted into the skin, but they are not placed far into the skin and are almost immediately removed.
- Alternative to surgery or medication ” One of the advantages of dry needling is that it is a great alternative measure if you're hoping to avoid surgery or taking medication.
What are some of the cons of dry needling?
- Mild discomfort ” Since these are needles, you may feel a mild pinch and a bit of discomfort. However, it's worth noting that these needles are very thin, do not go very far into your skin, and are quickly removed once inserted.
- Risk of swelling and bruising ” There is a risk of inflammation and bruising at the sites of the needle insertion, but it can be expected to go away fairly quickly if it does occur.
- Risk of allergic reaction ” Some people may be allergic to titanium, which is what some needles are made of. Other types are made of stainless steel. If you do have an allergy to titanium, it's a good idea to ask ahead to prevent the risk of an allergic reaction.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you learn about the pros and cons of dry needling
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and that can help you address the pros and cons of dry needling. Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.