Dry needling is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue. That specific dysfunction may present in the form of pain, decreased flexibility, and in some cases weakness. These are common impairments seen in some combination in all musculoskeletal ailments leading to activity and participation limits.
How does it decrease pain ?
The mechanisms involve some pretty heavy biochemistry but putting it simply dry needling treatments resulted in: Increased activity in the body’s natural pain inhibiting pathways. Decreased concentrations of inflammatory soup (chemicals and substances present with inflammation) at the site of injury. Your body’s first stage of healing is the inflammatory stage and persisting irritation means it has been unable to progress on its own.
What can Dry Needling be used for?
Decreasing pain and improved healing works for pretty much anything right? We have effectively used dry needling over many regions in the body including:
Back pain related to osteoarthritis, stenosis, disc disease, muscle pain
Neck pain related to osteoarthritis, stenosis, disc disease, muscle pain
Headaches: tension and cluster headaches
Tennis elbow, golfers elbow
Tendinitis: knee, shoulder, ankle, foot,
Shoulder blade pain, tightness
Hip pain: Bursitis, osteoarthritis, impingement
Is Dry Needling in Physical Therapy the same as Acupuncture?
Dry needling is not acupuncture. It is based strictly on Western medical principles and research. This technique employed by a physical therapist is just a small part of your treatment program. Reducing pain is great but if you don’t figure out the root cause contributing to that hot spot it will keep coming back. Physical therapists are unique in that we employ a wide variety of manual treatment techniques, exercise prescription, and training in functional movement patterns to effectively eliminate the root cause of your problem.