Dry needling is a procedure in which a “dry” needle that contains no medicine is inserted into the patient’s skin. The needle is inserted into a muscle to help with pain management, flexibility, and mobility. Dry needling is also sometimes known as trigger point dry needling and intramuscular manual therapy. Our staff at Back in Motion Chiropractic & Acupuncture wants you to know the benefits of dry needling.
More About Dry Needling
Chiropractors who utilize dry needling focus on trigger points. A trigger point is a band of muscle, known as fascia, that’s taut and may be tender to the touch, even causing pain in other parts of the body when touched. Dry needling stimulates this band of tissue. The procedure should not be painful as the needles are even smaller than a syringe that would be used to administer medication. However, you may feel a prick or cramp during the procedure.
Dry needling is similar to acupuncture but not the same. The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture is designed to help improve the flow of “Qi” or energy throughout the body. With dry needling, the intent is to stimulate muscle tissue beneath the skin.
The needle can reach the tissue that is hard to stimulate manually but is not used as a single treatment option. However, dry needling may be combined with other therapies and treatments to provide pain relief and healing. Dry needling may be able to speed up a patient’s rehabilitation.
During this procedure, the physical therapist wears gloves and other protective gear as required. Each appointment takes approximately 30 minutes. The filiform needle that’s used is disposed of after each appointment.
While some patients may develop minor bruising or bleeding after a dry needling appointment, most do not. Dry needling can cause pain that is temporary. Soreness that feels similar to a hard workout can last for up to 48 hours after the appointment. Patients can mitigate soreness by keeping hydrated and use ice packs to reduce pain. Patients should avoid any activity that’s more strenuous than normal or engaging in new activities.
You may notice relief from your symptoms in that time period as your trigger points are released. However, it can take several sessions before you notice the effects of dry needling. Some people note that trigger points go away after time; although, some trigger points are persistent.