Dry needling is part of a comprehensive approach to aide in the modulation of pain, renewal of motion, and restoration of function. The treatment is seldom stand-alone. Dry needling is performed by skilled, trained physical therapists. A thin monofilament needle(s) is utilized to penetrate the skin and treat underlying muscular trigger points, desensitize super-sensitive structures – inducing a healing response – and aide in restoration of function.
Who Can Benefit?
Dry needling physical therapy can be appropriate for a wide subset of individuals. Dry needling may be used to treat patients with acute, subacute, and chronic pain and dysfunctions. When the muscle is stimulated with the needle, a twitch or rapid depolarization of the fibers may take place. As a result, the muscle activity reduces dramatically, allowing it to relax while the pain and dysfunction decrease. Dry needling may also stimulate the release of the body’s endogenous opiates, initiating a new healing process.
Dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting, and often effective for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Common conditions appropriate for treatment could include:
- Neck pain
- TMJ (temporal mandible joint) pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Overuse injuries
- Hip pain
- Knee pain
- Back pain