Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling involves multiple advances of a fi lament needle into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point” to elicit a “twitch response”. A trigger point may refer pain to various parts of the body. Headaches or sciatic like symptoms are a few examples of referral patterns from a trigger point. The aim of Dry Needling is to release muscle tension and pain. It is an effective treatment for chronic pain with very few side effects. The needle used is very thin and most subjects do not even feel it penetrate the skin. A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of this needle. However if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp –‘the twitch response’. The patient also may feel a reproduction of “their” pain which is a helpful diagnostic indicator for the practitioner attempting to assess the cause of the patient’s symptoms.

What are some of the conditions that can be treated with dry needling?

The most common cause of nerve irritation and pain is underlying spinal degeneration (i.e. spondylosis of the spine), which can be a result of trauma and/or normal wear and tear. Spondylosis irritates the nerve root and leads to neuropathy which can result in muscle shortening. The introduction of a dry needle into the active trigger sites of these muscles can provide enormous relief of symptoms. Common diagnoses treated with dry needling include:
  • Acute and chronic sporting injuries:
    • Muscular hematomas
    • Muscle tears
    • Compartment syndrome
    • Shin splints
    • Rotator cuff injuries
    • Tennis/golfers elbow
  • Spinal conditions:
    • Piriformis syndrome
    • Cervico-genic headaches
    • Sciatica
    • Hamstring issues
    • Chronic low back and neck pain
    • Osteoarthritis
  • Lower extremity conditions:
    • Patellar Femoral Syndrome
    • Patellar tendonitis
    • Hamstring Strain
    • Groin Strain
    • Shin-splints
    • Compartment Syndrome
    • Achilles tendonopathies
    • Plantar Fasciitis
    • ITB Syndrome
    • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Upper extremity conditions:
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Tennis elbow
    • Golfers elbow
    • Impingement syndromes
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

If you are suffering from any of these conditions or have not had success with previous treatments for your pain, dry needling may be an option for you. Consult with your physician regarding a referral for physical therapy, including a specific referral for dry needling.

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