Discover How to Relieve Pain While You Continue to Train With Dry Needling

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As physical therapists, we are always looking for

new (or revisiting old) ways to help our clients

reach their goals.  We work in many ways to

expedite the healing process and repair tissue.

 

One of our lesser known tools to reach these goals

is dry needling. We are going to answer some of

your questions today, so you can decide if dry

needling may benefit you.

 

What is dry needling?

 

This is a technique that uses a "dry" (meaning it

doesn't inject any medication) thin needle inserted

into an area of muscle.  This needle stimulates

trigger points, muscles, and connective tissues to

improve pain and movement problems.

 

It is effective in treating muscular tension and

spasms common to arthritis, nerve irritation,

muscle or ligament strains, and herniated discs.

With these conditions, there is usually a particularly

painful spot we can identify called a trigger point.

 

This is a taut band or "knot" within a muscle that

can cause pain.  This pain can be local or refer to

other parts of the body. Dry needling deactivates

these pain points to restore joint movement, muscle

strength, and improve function.

 

By identifying the trigger of the pain, we are not

only addressing the symptoms, but also the root

cause.  Additionally, as the needle helps release

and reset the muscle tissue, we are able to break

the pain cycle.

 

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How is this different from Acupuncture?

 

If you have had acupuncture in the past, you will

notice we use the same sterile, thin filament needles.

However, Acupuncture is a practice based on

traditional Chinese medicine. The approach to the

body is in regards to energy flow and meridians.

 

The performance of dry needling by a physical

therapist is based on western medicine principles.  It

is supported by strong scientific studies.  In addition,

it utilizes the therapists thorough understanding of

the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems.  In our

clinic, this technique is not seen as a "cure", but one

technique that is part of a larger treatment plan.

 

What kinds of studies support dry needling?

 

A recent study was conducted on patient's with

chronic neck pain after whip last injury.  These

patient's previously responded poorly to traditional

exercise based physical therapy.  The sensitivity and

severity of their injuries made it difficult to tolerate a

movement based treatment.  Adding dry needling

to their treatment plan was found to speed up the

healing process, minimize pain and disability.

Consequently, there was a reduction in the overall

economic cost of treatment.

 

Are their any studies on athletes?

 

Well, I am glad you asked! A case report on female

volleyball athletes utilized dry needling therapy of the

shoulder during an intense competitive phase.  As a

result, their range of motion, strength, and pain were

all improved post treatment.

 

Most importantly, they were able to continue their

overhead activities. Restoring muscle imbalances

while continuing to compete or train is important

to athletes.  Treatments that require lengthy rest

or recovery periods are sometimes not an option.

 

In addition, dry needling is found to be a safe means to

improve physical performance. It reduces muscular

stress that accumulates from repetitive exercise and

diminishes muscle restrictions.  Releasing these trigger

points allows a more coordinated sequence of the

muscles resulting in diminished injury, compensation,

and fatigue.

 

Let's hear a patient's perspective. . . 

 

"The primary sensation during the process was

pressure.  It was certainly worth it. The muscle

tightness, associated pain and limited mobility were

immediately improved.  Muscles that I didn't even

know were causing problems were much improved"

 

Our clients who undergo dry needling usually see

benefits in movement and pain right away.  However,

several sessions are necessary to fully eliminate the

trigger point.  Additionaly, other therapy treatments

may also be necessary to retrain and strengthen the

muscles involved.

 

We believe dry needling will quickly become a poplar

drug free alternative to pain relief and improvement

of muscular performance.

 

Are you ready to see improved ease of movement and

decrease in your symptoms today?  Request a call from

a physical therapist now at our website

www.peakpotentialpt.com.