Dry Needling

Physiotherapist doing a dry puncture

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a general term for a therapeutic treatment procedure that involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the area of the body which produces pain and typically contains a trigger point. There is no injectable solution and typically the needle that is used is very thin. Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it advances into the muscle, the discomfort can vary from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort upon insertion of the needle; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or contains active trigger points, the subject may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp, often referred to as a ‘twitch response”.

The twitch response also has a biochemical characteristic to it which likely affects the reaction of the muscle, symptoms and response of the tissue. Along with the health of the tissue, the expertise of the practitioner can also attribute to the variation of discomfort and outcome. The patient may only feel the cramping sensation locally or they may feel a referral of pain or similar symptoms for which they are seeking treatment. A reproduction of their pain can be a helpful diagnostic indicator of the cause of the symptoms. Patients soon learn to recognize and even welcome this sensation, as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle. Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms, overall health of the patient, and experience level of the practitioner.

Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention, with very few side effects. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.

Cited from Kinetacore.com

Does The Needle Hurt?

Because acupuncture needles are very fine and solid, they don’t hurt as they pass through the skin like a hollow injection needle does. The sensations people report are “deep aching”, “pressure”, “releasing”, “blood flow”, or “soreness”. The needle is left in for a very short period of time, just long enough to relax the muscle. The procedure is repeated in different areas until the muscle returns to its normal, relaxed state. Because we treat sensitive areas, there is some discomfort. However, short term discomfort is well worth tolerating considering the long term relief dry needling provides.

How Many Needles Will I Need?

We will start very slowly during the first session to give you a feel for the technique. The first session will focus on a few muscles that are key to your problem. These key areas can give you excellent relief with less soreness. Subsequent treatments will target more specific areas to fine-tune the effect. Sessions are usually spaced days apart and you should expect to feel a marked difference after only 1-2 sessions.

How Will I Feel After Dry Needling?

You will know positive change has occurred right after the session, because you will be sore in the way that you would feel after too much activity. The muscle will feel fatigued and the soreness can last from a few hours to 1-2 days but should not interfere with your everyday activities. We encourage you to be active during this time to keep the soreness to a minimum. After a day or so, you’ll experience a new feeling of less pain and tightness that will last. The chronic injury you thought was there to stay will actually start to improve. Call us today 801.254.1811 to give dry needling a try