Dry needling is a safe and effective method of treatment performed by a licensed physical therapist that works to reduce pain and muscle tension, while simultaneously improving mobility. It has been proven to treat numerous musculoskeletal issues, including acute and chronic injuries, overuse injuries, neck pain, headaches, back pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, muscle strains, tendinitis, knee pain, hip pain, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and more.
If you are dealing with one of these conditions and you’re looking for relief, or if you’d like to receive more information on how dry needling could benefit you, contact Premier Physical Therapy today!
What exactly is dry needling?
This treatment method is used by one of our licensed physical therapists at our Valley Center location, Brent Ehresman, PT, DPT, as a way to relieve pain. When performing dry needling, Brent will insert a sterile dry needle through the skin, into the adversely affected underlying ligaments, tendons, muscles (into “myofascial trigger points”), or down to bone. This, in turn, will relieve pain, decrease muscle tension, and improve mobility by stimulating a healing response in which the body releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural opioid-like pain reliever. This ultimately leads to the body’s immune system to respond to the site of needle insertion and sends cells necessary for healing and tissue repair. Sometimes, electrical stimulation can be used in conjunction with the needling to speed up the body’s immune response.
The “dry” in dry needling refers to the needle being solid, and no injectable substance is used. The needles used are 10-20x smaller than needles used for injections. While it is a common misconception, dry needling is not acupuncture. It is based on modern scientific study of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. While there are some similarities, dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research. It provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal, ultimately reducing pain in the process.
Does it hurt?
Most of our patients report feeling little to no discomfort when undergoing dry needling treatments. Brent knows how to make the process as painless as possible; however, some patients may still experience a “twitch response” with the insertion of the needle. This is comparable to a quick muscle cramp or ache. The 24-48 hours following a dry needling treatment may also result in muscle soreness, which should go away on its own. Sore muscles can be treated at home by applying ice and/or heat packs and drinking plenty of fluids. Patients are able to return to their normal daily activities following dry needling treatment, it is not necessary to rest the treatment area.
Will dry needling benefit me?
There are a large variety of musculoskeletal issues that can be treated with dry needling. When paired with our traditional exercise-based physical therapy treatments and advanced manual therapy techniques, we have found that the vast majority of our patients achieved the pain-free goals they were seeking faster than when participating in a physical therapy regimen alone.
After conducting a comprehensive evaluation to assess the nature of your condition, Brent will let you know if dry needling is the best course of treatment for you. He has used dry needling to treat several diverse conditions, from chronic pain sufferers to athletes experiencing muscle soreness and pain from recent injuries.
Dry needling can speed up recovery time and allow you to return to your daily life as quickly as possible. If you are interested in dry needling, schedule an appointment with our specialist, Brent, at Premier Physical Therapy to get you started on the path toward recovery!
A few other facts:
- Dry needling is very safe
- Risk of infection is extremely remote
- Patients should eat before hand
- VERY minor bleeding may occur
- Bruising and soreness are normal and expected afterwards
We are currently accepting new patients. To schedule an evaluation call us at (316) 613-3068.