While the name of the procedure may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, with minimal discomfort and is often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Dry needling is a treatment performed by a skilled and trained physical therapist in conjunction with other procedures or as a solo treatment when appropriate. A thin, single-use monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuro-musculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
What is a Trigger Point?
What is a trigger point? A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain while stimulating neuro-modulation, similar to a reset button for your nervous system.
It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine to address pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.
Depending on the orthopedic condition being treated, dry needling can be performed in conjunction with therapeutic exercise and manual therapy but it can also be performed as a single treatment when appropriate.
It is important to note that not everyone is appropriate for dry needling. Please call us to find out more information about dry needling and whether it's a good fit for you!