Dry needling is a treatment involving a thin needle, used to target a painful trigger point. A trigger point is a painful muscle “knot” that can limit normalized movement and make every day tasks painful and difficult.
How does it work?
The therapist feels for the trigger point and then inserts the needle. The needle helps to release the tightness, stimulate blood flow, and promote relaxation to the aggravated muscle.
Is it like acupuncture?
Though both treatments use a thin needle, the dry needling treatment tends to be deeper. Humans have thick, large muscles and if needed the needle can go as deep as those large muscles and be quite uncomfortable. Where acupuncture treatment tends to be more skin level and cause less discomfort. There is no medicine used in the dry needling treatment, it is not an injection. The treatment can be uncomfortable and painful at times but is generally tolerated well. The therapist is always present and monitoring patient symptoms. The therapist will talk you through what to expect before deciding if this is an appropriate treatment for you.
How long does it last?
Dry needling is one possible treatment option to be used in conjunction with massage, exercise, heat/ice to help manage pain. Results can vary from person to person and can range from very short term (hours-days) to more permanent effects. Generally, no more than 3-4 treatments will be done if no positive results are obtained.
How much does this cost?
Dry needling treatment is covered by most health insurance plans.
Should I try dry needling?
Dry needling can be helpful in treatment of conditions such as: myofascial pain, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, IT band syndrome, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, and chronic neck and back pain. Talk to your therapist if you think this could be a helpful treatment for you. Do not consider dry needling if you have a fear of needles, are pregnant, immunocompromised or have systemic infections.