The Benefits to Dry Needling

Integrative Dry Needling (DN) uses acupuncture needles to inoculate minor lesions into the soft tissues (skin, muscles, fascia, tendon and ligament, etc) to activate the healing process, resulting in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology.

What does dry needling treat?

Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Muscles are thought to be a primary contributing factor to the symptoms. Conditions which respond to dry needling include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Leg pain
  • Shin splints
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hip Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Buttock pain
  • Hamstring strains
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Knee Pain

How does dry needling work?

Pioneering studies by Dr. Shah and colleagues at the national institutes of health suggest that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical changes which assist in reducing pain. It is also theorized the local lesions caused by the needle introduce new blood flow into the muscle which in turn supplies healing factors.

Does dry needling hurt?

Generally, needle insertion is not felt, the local twitch response may provoke a very brief pain response. This has been described as a slight electric shock or a cramping sensation. During treatment, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling or relaxation. The benefits of dry needling frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.

What happens after?

There may be soreness immediately after treatment in the area of the body that was treated, this is normal but does not always occur. Sometimes this is delayed for a few hours or until the next day. The soreness may vary depending on the area of the body that was treated, as well as varies person to person, but typically it feels like you have had an intense workout at the gym. Occasionally patients will experience some bruising with this soreness.

Are there side effects of dry needling?

It is typical to experience soreness in the area treated for 1-2 days. The soreness is quite tolerable for most and is easily alleviated with cold/heat and stretching.

How long does it last?

In some cases, decreased pain and improved mobility is immediate. Typically, it may take a few treatment sessions for a lasting positive effect. Again we are trying to cause mechanical, biochemical and neurological changes without any pharmacological means. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to deactivate trigger points, disrupt pain and to restore optimal muscle function.

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