How effective is dry needling?

How effective is dry needling?

October 27, 2023

How effective is dry needling?

Moore Physical Therapy

How Effective is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is an effective technique for relieving pain, deactivating trigger points and improving function. Physical therapists often incorporate it into a treatment plan that also includes massage or exercise therapy as additional interventions. Visit Moore Physical Therapy to learn more about our services.

Dry needling is an effective treatment for many musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, shoulder discomfort, and muscle tightness. While some patients report relief after just one treatment, others may require multiple sessions in order to see results. Learn more about our physical therapy services.

How It Works

If you’re experiencing chronic discomfort, your physical therapist may suggest dry needling as a possible treatment. This minimally invasive technique has been demonstrated to be successful for numerous conditions and injuries.

A sterile needle is inserted into the skin and driven into a knotted area of muscle tissue known as a trigger point. When it strikes the muscle, it causes a local twitch response (LTR), which releases the knotted tissue and eases pain.

Many patients report feeling better after just one session, while for others it takes multiple treatments to achieve significant reduction in pain and muscle stiffness. It is also important to note that some bruising may occur from the dry needling process; however, this should go away quickly.

Dry needling not only relieves pain and restores mobility, but it can also provide other advantages like increased energy levels, improved appetite, and better sleep quality. Furthermore, it’s an efficient way to extend your treatment plan and speed up recovery from various conditions or injuries.

Trigger Points

Trigger points are knots in muscle fibers that can cause discomfort, spasm, and reduced movement. They often develop from overtraining or injury but may also result from prolonged sitting or bed rest.

When trigger points become irritated, they can affect the nerves controlling muscle contraction and cause referred pain – when muscles and surrounding tissue become sore from an aggravated nerve.

Studies have demonstrated that dry needling can reduce the amount of pain a trigger point causes and improve referred pain. It also reduces peripheral nociception from the trigger point as well as slow down activity in dorsal horn neurons and brainstem areas.

Dry needling is a safe, drug-free technique that can help expedite healing, reduce pain and increase mobility. It has numerous applications such as treating sports injuries and back pain.

Pain Relief

Dry needling is an effective remedy for relieving pain from trigger points, knotted muscles that are tender when touched. These trigger points may refer the discomfort elsewhere on the body, creating chronic symptoms.

Dry needling is a technique in which your physical therapist locates the trigger point and inserts an ultra-thin needle through your skin into it. After inserting the needle, they use light touch to attempt to induce what is known as a local twitch response in the muscle.

Your therapist should observe a twitch reaction as an encouraging sign that the muscle is responding to treatment. They can then use gentle needle movement to try to release any trigger points in the affected areas.

Dry needling can also increase blood flow to an area, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients for healing. Furthermore, this increased circulation helps flush away acidic chemicals that have built up in muscles over time.

Long-Term Effects

Dry needling is an effective treatment for many conditions, including pain and stiffness. Not only that, but it may help expedite recovery time and enhance quality of life as well.

Treatment involves inserting needles through the skin into a trigger point or knotted muscle tissue. These micro-tears trigger your body’s natural defenses to go into overdrive, bringing in nutrient-rich blood to the area and speeding up tissue repair.

It is vital to get this right, as damaged or irritated tissue can impede blood flow and make your condition worse rather than better. Limiting oxygen and nutrients reaching muscles leads to pain and discomfort in the short term.

Although the long-term effects of dry needling are still uncertain, there is some moderate-quality evidence that it reduces pain over time (SMD = -0.26; 95% CI: -0.58, 0.06) at two time points analyzed by Sterling et al38.

If you’re interested in learning more about dry needling and other physical therapy services, feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team of specialists.

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