Dry needling is a manual therapy technique that has grown in popularity recently, yet many patients are unfamiliar with this treatment. Our specially trained physical therapists utilize dry needling to relieve pain and increase the range of motion for patients dealing with myofascial pain. Please continue reading to learn more about dry needling and the conditions it treats from our healing experts at Free Body Physical Therapy!
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is an innovative technique similar to acupuncture, yet they are vastly different. Dry needling is a type of myofascial trigger point therapy that we conduct in a sterile, safe environment to swiftly help increase your range of motion resulting from muscle stiffness or soreness. In most cases, this discomfort is caused by soft tissue damage. Over time, your muscles can develop tender, knotted areas known as trigger points. The trigger points are highly sensitive and often cause pain that affects other parts of your body. Our physical therapists will insert tiny, thin needles through the skin into the trigger points during a dry needling session. These needles are only meant to stimulate the tissue.
Inserting small, thin needles into the trigger points causes your muscles to contract and immediately relax, effectively diminishing glaring symptoms. During your session, you may experience various sensations, but muscle twitches and soreness are signs that the treatment is working. The dry needles may be placed superficially or deeply for varying periods of time, depending mainly on the type of pain being treated and the duration.
What Conditions Are Treated With Dry Needling?
Dry needling is used as a component of your overall treatment plan that will likely involve manual therapy, exercise, and heat therapy. Trigger point dry needling is most often used to lessen the occurrence of problematic symptoms and pain, but can also be used to treat the following conditions:
- Myofascial Pain.
- Back Problems.
- Joint Problems.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).
- Disk Problems.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Muscle Weakness.
- Scar Tissue Buildup.
It’s best to consult with our experts at Free Body Physical Therapy to determine if dry needling would be beneficial. Blood thinners need to be cleared for dry needling. Patients living with diabetes, vascular disease, or lymphedema should also check with our team before this therapy. Our team will evaluate your condition and verify your eligibility before beginning treatment.
Benefits of Dry Needling
Dry needling can ignite the release of your body’s natural pain reliever, improve nerve communication, relax your muscles, and boost blood flow to painful areas. Here are some other notable benefits you can experience with trigger point dry needling:
- Fast Pain Relief – Painful symptoms can immediately improve as the knot in your muscle relaxes, and blood flow improves. Many patients experience fast relief after one session, but others may require several sessions to achieve maximum benefits. Your treatment plan will largely depend on the number of trigger points and the severity of your symptoms.
- Restored Range of Motion – Muscle pain can significantly restrict your movement, and dealing with multiple trigger points further hinders mobility. Dry needling combined with our personalized physical therapy programs can help rebuild your strength, restore range of motion, and retrain your muscles to prevent future trigger points.
- Improved Chronic Pain Conditions – Dry needling can vastly improve chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.
- Accelerated Recovery – Whether you’ve experienced a soft tissue injury or had surgery, movement is essential for promoting healing and facilitating your recovery. Dry needling combined with physical therapy helps accelerate the recovery process.
You don’t have to manage debilitating pain on your own. Our experts at Free Body Physical Therapy are here to guide you throughout your healing journey. If you are interested in trying dry needling to expand your range of motion and relieve pain, be sure to request an appointment with our team today!