What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is a therapeutic modality that involves using a filament needle to release tight and/or painful muscle bands referred to as “trigger points”. These tight bands or knots in the muscle can cause pain (both local and referred), muscle weakness, muscle soreness, muscle tension and can have negative effects on joints if the muscle causes abnormal pulls or compression. This modality in called “Dry” Needling because there is no injectable or ”wet” solution and the needle which is used is very thin.
How does it work?
During the procedure of Trigger Point Dry Needling the filament needle is specifically placed into the muscle trigger point and then gently moved to stimulate a muscle twitch response. The twitch response stimulates a “reset” in the muscle allowing for biochemical and neuromuscular changes to occur that facilitates lasting change. The deactivation or desensitization of the muscle trigger points allows for improved function, decreased pain and improved mobility.
What to expect during treatment?
The discomfort that patients experience during Dry Needling varies widely but is generally comfortable for most. We tailor the number of trigger points needled and the intensity of treatment to stay within each patient’s tolerance level. The sensation we look for when needling is a deep ache, similar to that of a deep tissue massage. If the muscle is dysfunctional a cramp-like feeling can occur and reproduction of familiar symptoms can be a helpful diagnostic indicator. It’s common for the muscles needled to be sore for 24-48 hours post treatment. We encourage gentle movement and hydration post treatment and use e-stim when needling to limit soreness.
Positive results are typically found within 2-4 treatment sessions, but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms and the patient’s overall health.