Integrative Dry Needling is a highly effective form of therapy for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. It is not appropriate for all conditions or pathologies.
How does it work?
Integrative dry needling is not acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine); it is based on neuro-anatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues that are considered trigger points to your pain. Dry needling works by causing a microlesion within the pathological tissue thus breaking up shortened tissues, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. This mechanical and neuromuscular effect provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal which ultimately reduces pain.
What conditions can be treated?
Conditions include, but are not limited to neck, back, and shoulder pain, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer’s elbow), headache to include migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain and leg pain (sciatica, hamstring strains, calf tightness/spasms).
Are the needles sterile?
Yes, we only use sterile disposable needles.
Is the procedure painful?
The fine filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible, which allows for the needle to be pushed through the skin versus cutting the skin. This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure. We strive to make the treatment virtually painless however at times a local twitch response sensation is normal and is felt only momentarily. Many patients describe the twitch respsonse as a little electric shock, cramp, or an ache sensation. These sensations are perfectly normal and even a desirable response. Your PT will make every effort to make your experience comfortable and therapeutic.
How will I feel after the Dry Needling treatment?
This will vary but many patients experience immediate relief of their symptoms and an increase in range of motion. Soreness can also be a common response from the needling but does not occur with all people. Some individuals may experience an immediate achiness or a delayed soreness the next day. The soreness, if present, will usually last 1-2 days, use of heat and light massage and movement will be beneficial. Mild bruising may occur at the needling sites and is more prevalent in certain parts of the body. Larger bruising may also occur, but is rare. Application of ice on the bruise will help with the soreness and the skin discoloration will last several days but is not harmful.
It is uncommon but possible that the treatment may temporarily increase your symptoms. This is not unusual but if this continues past the 1-2 day window, inform your PT to allow adjustment of your treatment program. This does not mean that needling will not be beneficial to your condition.