As we learn more about dry needling, we will be able to use it more often to treat musculoskeletal issues.
Dry needling is effective for the most typical muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint problems, including low back pain, migraines, and sports injuries.
It is crucial to understand the basics of dry needling, how treatment can help patients recover, and which conditions can benefit from this therapy as more practitioners employ this technique. A few important points are listed below to understand before seeking treatment.
What is meant by “Dry Needling”?
Physical therapists and chiropractors with the appropriate training can manage neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries by using the skilled technique known as dry needling. Dry needling is a technique that targets adhesions, trigger points, and connective tissue by penetrating the skin, fascia, and muscles with a fine filiform needle. By reducing muscle hypertonicity, extending joint range of motion, and resolving trigger point adhesion, this quickens the healing process and reduces pain.
Are Dry Needling and Acupuncture the same?
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture makes use of the knowledge of meridians. Because of this, an acupuncturist can work on a patient’s internal harmony, energy, qi, and life force. Physical, tongue, and pulse checks are all part of the workup and examination. For thousands of years, traditional acupuncture has been the subject of extensive research.
The use of dry needling requires a practitioner to have a broader understanding of skeletal and neuroanatomy. With this understanding, one can identify taut bands, trigger points, and wounded or abused tissues, as well as damaged and sensitive ones. Dry needling practitioners do a thorough examination that includes myotomal and dermatomal testing for the nervous system, movement analysis, orthopedic assessment, and movement evaluation.
What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is a region of tight, hypersensitive muscle or fascia that can refer pain and discomfort while impairing movement. It is made up of taut bands of muscle and fascia and is uncomfortable when compressed. Recent research published in Current Pain and Headache Reports suggests that trigger points can develop as a result of muscle overuse or physical injury.
Does Dry Needling Therapy cause Pain?
A thin filiform needle is used in dry needling to address adhesions, trigger points, and connective tissue to speed healing and relieve pain. It can penetrate skin, fascia, and muscles. There is often a mild discomfort during treatment and for up to 24 hours afterward. During the quick “twitch response,” there is some discomfort felt, although it is small and passes quickly. The duration of the discomfort can be shortened by drinking lots of water, stretching, moving around, and heating the affected muscles.
What Conditions can Dry Needling Address?
Dry needling is an effective technique to manage low back pain, neck pain, knee pain (osteoarthritis), shoulder dysfunction, tennis and Thrower’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain, ankle sprains, muscle strains, and more. It is typical for the muscle to require a number of dry needling therapy sessions before it regains complete functionality. Yet, you can see the difference immediately following each session.
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