What is Dry Needling?
In this post, we will answer the question what is dry needling. We will explain exactly what this therapeutic practice is along with the benefits of dry needling therapy. Let’s get right into it!
Dry Needling Therapy
If you have any pain, particularly chronic pain, then you will want to look into the therapeutic benefits dry needling. This type of physical therapy takes a form that is not unlike the renowned acupuncture that individuals have found relief from for millenniums. However, dry needling specifically targets tight muscles and/or tendons in a different manner. In this article, we will delve into the inns and outs of dry needling.
Techniques For Dry Needling Therapy
A single (mono) filament needle is utilized to target a bothersome, even painful muscle/tendon. Studies show it increases muscle performance while relieving pain. Often, dry needling can even benefit the surrounding area of muscle, as seen in fasciitis, or an inflammation of the fascia- thick tissue surrounding muscles, and in turn also the surrounding fat, blood vessels, and nerves. Dry needling is commonly practices to lessen the chronic pain of fascia surrounding muscles, which causes chronic myofascial pain. There is evidence of relief even in other anatomical pain, as is found in those suffering from skeletal pain.
With dry needling, the needle is inserted in to the skin and carefully angled into isolated muscle. The needle is then moved around until discomfort, or twitching, signals that a trigger spot is present. The trigger response, in a body, shows a muscle that has twisted, or compressed, itself in an unbalanced way. The knot, identified at this point, is broken by the needle. The trigger point is impacted by the needle in a way where patients finds a proper realignment and ultimately pain relief.
History Of Dry Needling
Dry needling treatment dates back almost a century, to the 1940’s, when a Dr. Janet G. Travell discovered that those receiving injections in their muscle groups that she identified as trigger points, their were benefits that relieved the suffering patient. At the time, the injection of therapeutic medications, such as cortisol shots, were considered wet needling.
Later, in the 1970’s, a Dr. C. Gunn further expanded upon dry needling techniques with “Intramuscular Stimulation”, designed to tackle myofascial pain. Also in the 70’s, further research benefitted understanding dry needling, to bring about homeostasis of functionality in the body, by application of Dr. H.C. Dung’s research. Dr. Dung teamed up with Dr. Yun-tao Ma, to find that the methods of dry needling most popularized were both valid theories, in the first modern dry needling textbook.
The contemporary dry needling accomplishes pain relief through the western, and traditional, acupuncturist technique of Dr. Travell. For example, the deeper dry needling utilized to counteract myofascial trigger points was developed by Dr. Karel Lewit, and utilized to treat musculoskeletal problems. In this modern age, dry needling is now combined with numerous biomedical research, particularly to treat myofascial trigger points.
Outcomes Of Trigger Point Dry Needling Treatments
Dry needling allows for easier exercise and general movement in those suffering previously. The benefits vary greatly depending on individual concerns, such as lessened headaches, improved sleep and recovery from exercise. There is even evidence that it improves muscular tone in stroke patients. After having a dry needling session, a few days is required to see possible improvement, from realignment. It is important to ensure a specialist is assessing the treatment throughout the process of healing as well. To seek permanent relief, often it is recommended to have repeat treatments of dry needling, targeting any problem area.
If trying to avoid any soreness after the needle penetrates the persistent area of pain, one has the option to insert a secondary needle below and bring in electrical stimulation. The electrical stimulation is accomplished with a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, and only uses a mild electrical current. This is a great way to avoid any potential soreness, from stimulating blood flow that simultaneously relaxes the muscle group targeted. Ultimately, many who receive dry needling therapy find an increased range in motion.
Risks Of Dry Needling
The best medical practices are ones that gauge the level of pain that one would deem dry needling helpful in tackling. As many athletes and chronic pain sufferers realize, from a physical therapy perspective, dry needling is more invasive than simple massage techniques. Individuals who play a sport might want to dedicate time away from playing, to ensure that the healing accomplished by dry needling is not mitigated by additional overuse. While individuals might find temporary relief from massage therapy, dry needling can compound upon prior treatments. This does bring about a cost concern for some, particularly if dry needling is not covered by individual insurance, but simply finding pain relief can be invaluable.
It is important to patron a dry needling expert who emphasizes cleanliness and avoids unnecessary invasiveness, to avoid infection and prolonged recovery time. Ensure that the dry needling is done by a place that fulfills acupuncture and medical licensing standards, such as through a physical therapist or chiropractor. Finding a specialist will ensure that this practice is also not overused. Additionally, some state laws will consider dry needling with a TENS machine to be considered acupuncture so researching the best fit for you is critical.
Frequently, dry needling is coupled with reassessment of a patients movement techniques, to avoid further treatments in the future. The maintenance of the realignment accomplished by dry needling is benefitted from proper form, or one risks needing additional sessions after initial correction. The idea that dry needling often requires conjunctive therapeutic intervention from a specialist, is echoed by the American Physical Therapy Association, while the organization also announces a belief in the benefits to dry needling.
Recommendations Regarding Dry Needling
Please, if you are suffering, consider an alternative therapy of dry needling. The benefits are vast, and it can impact numerous components of the body, depending on the patient’s preference, amount of movement hindered versus performance, and level of pain experienced. If you are seeking to benefit daily work, playing sports without pain, or general tightness, tenseness, and spasms, dry needling is a relaxing therapy to invasively stop discomfort. Dry needling is a great intervention strategy for those hoping to seek relief from medical, physiological concerns.
We hope we have given you some background on dry needling and what you should expect. Practices such as Dynamic Acupuncture and Wellness offer dry needling and other holistic therapy services. You can learn more by visiting their business listing here or contacting them for information.
You should now know a little more about what is dry needling and we wish you all the best!