Dry Needling

Dry Needling in Chicago

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling? 

Trigger point dry needling is a manual therapy technique that uses a thin needle to penetrate the skin in order to release trigger points in the muscle and connective tissue. The goal of dry needling is to release or inactivate trigger points in the muscle to relieve pain or improve range of motion. 

What are Trigger Points? 

A trigger point is an area in a muscle that may result in muscular restriction or cause pain. Many refer to them as “muscle knots.” Touching a trigger point may cause pain in other areas of the body, which is called referred pain. 

Who should try dry needling?

Dry needling can be used to treat myofascial pain, which often happens when a muscle is overused or when there is repeated injury to the tissue. It is also indicated when muscle restriction causes limitations with range of motion. Studies have shown dry needling to cause rapid reductions in pain and increase in range of motion. A physical therapist may determine if you would be a good candidate for dry needling during your evaluation or throughout your course of treatment in physical therapy. 

What to Expect-

The needles used during dry needling are very fine and solid. Only one needle is used at a time, and it is painlessly inserted by the therapist. During the procedure, the needle is moved around in the muscle tissue using a “pistoning” technique to locate and release the trigger points. The sensation reported by patients varies greatly, but you may expect to feel aching, cramping, muscle twitching, reproduction of pain in referred areas, among other sensations. The needles only stay in long enough to relax the muscle. 

After treatment, you will likely feel sore and the muscle group that was treated will feel fatigued. Within a period of a few hours to a day, you will feel less pain and tightness in the muscles. 


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