Dry Needling (DN) is a technique used to break up trigger points without the use of medications or injections. It works to reset the muscle into proper function and movement. DN is not acupuncture, which is a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine.
A trigger point is an area of a taut band or ball of muscle that is located within a larger muscle group. They can be tender to touch and even send pain to surrounding areas of the body. DN works to release or inactivate trigger points to relieve pain and improve range of motion. It can also speed up the recovery process after an injury.
Common ailments that have been shown to benefit from DN include:
- Muscle tightness
- Back & Neck pain
- Shoulder & Knee pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Muscle strains/sprains
- Whiplash symptoms
- Pelvic pain
- Trigger point relief
DN uses a tiny microfilament needle to stimulate the targeted muscle to relax. Twitching of the muscle commonly occurs during treatment and is a favorable sign.
It is recommended to wear loose clothing for treatment that can easily be rolled up if necessary. Make sure to have a snack. Treatments typically last about 10-15 minutes depending on the muscle’s response. Most people experience a heaviness in their muscles immediately after treatment, followed by occasional soreness that may last through the following day. However, most people have immediate relief of symptoms. Most people need about 6-8 treatments for full healing and may need occasional treatments later for flare-ups of symptoms.
DN is a safe and effective therapy in the hands of a skilled practitioner. Some common side effects include muscle soreness, fatigue, and bruising. Those on blood thinners or who have bleeding disorders should talk to their dry needling physician prior to treatment as it may not be advisable.