Dry needling is an effective treatment option to address soft tissue impairments. It is called dry because no medications such as hydrocortisone or Novocain (often used by physicians) are used.
Dry needling is different than acupuncture, though a similar type of needle is used. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method based on normalizing the flow of the energy (Qi ) in the body. The needles are inserted superficially to the acupuncture points to stimulate and balance the flow of the energy, therefore encouraging the self-healing process.
Acupuncture is used for many other conditions such as: infertility, insomnia, diabetes, and menstrual pain, which dry needling does not address.
In dry needling the needles are interested deep to the compromised soft tissue and sometimes manually moved to stimulate the tissue. Sometimes electrotherapy with very low current is used for stimulating the tissue and promoting a better “healing” response.
Dry needling is used for impairment of all connective tissue such as:
muscles, joint capsule, tendons, peri neural tissues and ligaments and is not limited to treat taut bands in the muscles or trigger points (tender spots in the muscles causing referred pain ).
How Does Dry Needling Work?
Acute injury or chronic conditions interrupt the normal neurophysiological function of tissue. Inserting the needle into the affected tissue will create a therapeutic response. Literature shows that this method can restore the normal balance of chemicals at the cellular level and stimulate a healing response.
Even though Dry needling is a very effective treatment especially when it is performed by a skilled clinician it is only an adjunct to the treatment provided by clinicians including physical therapist. Most patients still need other interventions such as joint and tissue mobilization and exercise or other physical therapy modalities to provide a complete and effective treatment.
To date dry needling has been shown to be effective in treating many conditions such as:
Shoulder joint impingements
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Neck and back pain
Are there any risks or side effects associated with dry needling?
Yes. The most serious risk with dry needling is accidental puncture of the lung which is associated with shortness of breath and may last for several days to weeks. Other risks include: injury to a blood vessel causing a bruise, infection and nerve injury.
The most common side effect is bruising which is usually resolved within a few days.
Even though it is good to be aware of these risks they are rare and if you are treated by a skilled clinician these risks should not be a major concern.
PLEASE REFER TO OUR SERVICE PAGE IF YOU LIKE TO LERAN MORE ABOUT THOSE CONDITIONS THAT WE USE DRY NEEDLING AS PART OF THE TREATMENT PLAN.