Dry Needling has been becoming more and more prevalent in the healthcare world due to the extreme benefits it does for multiple conditions! Maybe you have been like me and wondering what in the world dry needling was and how it can help. So let’s chat and talk about what it is, how it works, and how it can help you.
What is it? Dry Needling is the use of thin, single use, sterile needles directly into myofascial trigger points to decrease muscle spasm, inflammation, and nerve pain, as well as improve joint movement by resetting the patient’s neuromuscular physiology and restoring it back to normal.
What does it help with? Well, the quick answer is that it can help almost every condition that walks into our clinic. Is it needed for every condition to improve? No. Is it needed every visit? No. But to answer this question better, lets talk about what conditions have improved significantly with Dry Needling. Headaches and sinus pressure, trap spasms and trigger points, shoulder pains, radiculopathy (nerve pain down into the arms and legs), low back spasms, carpal tunnel and thumb pain, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. These are conditions that I will recommend Dry Needling due to the results we have gotten in our clinic and the improvement once we have added Dry Needling to the treatment plan.
Is it the same as acupuncture? Most people have heard of or have had acupuncture, so the question I get the most is if they are the same. No, dry needling and acupuncture utilize very different approaches to application of the needles, although they use the same types of needles. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that uses points down a meridian line with the idea of balance and restoring proper flow of energy throughout the body. Treatment lasts between 15-30 mins. Dry Needling is based on modern Western medicine and treat the area of pain in the muscles, joints, and nerves, as well as spinal levels. Treatment lasts between 2-10 minutes.
Does it hurt? Depends on the area as to what type of “pain” you will feel. For example, needling in the trap feels more like a deep tissue massage, while needling in the low back with a spasm can feel like pressure. Due to the way we apply the needles, most of the time, you won’t even feel the needle. There are many times where patients choose needling over various soft tissue therapies due to the decrease of “discomfort” or “hurt so good” feelings during the treatment. I have had every area of the body needled so I will give the descriptions as to what you should expect in the area that you will be getting the needling done.
I’m scared of needles, so do I have to have it? Absolutely not. I will give my professional advice on whether you can benefit from needling but it is just another type of therapy that can be utilized, not the only therapy. Adjustments, soft tissue, muscle stimulation, and various other options are just as effective. Don’t worry, I actually don’t like needles, ironically, but I will get it done when I need it because of how amazing it works.
My favorite area to get needled is the trap and posterior cuff of the shoulder with stem added!
What gets the most immediate results from needling? Headaches and trap spasms.
Dry Needling has transformed the way we treat patients and the results we have gotten for various conditions that walk into our clinic.
- Dr. Ashley Brignac Domec