Dry needling has changed the world of physical therapy forever and opened new horizons.
Dry needling therapy & dry point needling are the most powerful modality in treating soft tissue dysfunction. It is a skilled intervention used by physical therapists that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. A trigger point describes a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group. Trigger points can be tender to the touch and can refer pain to distant parts of the body. Physical therapists utilize dry needling with the goal of releasing/inactivating the trigger points and relieving pain.
Dry needling affects and restores abnormalities and therefore eliminates your soft tissue generated pain. In short; it is the most effective tool Physical Therapists have to treat pain generated from soft tissues.
Is Dry Needling Similar to Acupuncture?
Although both techniques use very fine, sterile needles that are inserted into various parts of the body, it is important to note the distinct differences.
- Physical Therapists do not claim to practice acupuncture, and it would be incorrect to refer to a practitioner of dry needling as an “Acupuncturist” since practitioners do not use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts.
- We do not use TCM acupuncture theories, meridian acupoints, and terminology.
- We do not use TCM ancient meridian systems, such as Qi (Chi) or energy channels.
- We do not use TCM acupuncture diagnostic techniques like tongue and pulse assessments.
- We treat primarily nueromusculoskeletal conditions, where a TCM practitioner works on balancing whole body systems.
Would Dry Point Needling help my condition?
A comprehensive evaluation by a Doctor of Physical Therapy to create a musculoskeletal diagnosis based on modern medical concepts and not Traditional Chinese Medicine will be essential in identifying if dry needling is appropriate for you.
Dry needling is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, such as, inflammation, tendonitis, contractures, trigger points, tissue adhesions, microcirculation, edema, and various other nueromusculoskeletal conditions.
When combined with other manual therapy and functional exercise can help the following conditions:
- Acute and chronic tendonitis
- Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
- Post-surgical pain
- Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
- Chronic pain conditions
- Headaches and whiplash
- Lower back pain
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Muscle Spasms
- Sciatic Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
** Along with a many other musculoskeletal conditions
How Effective is Dry Needling Therapy?
Dry point needling efficacy varies from person to person. The same soft tissue pain symptom can be completely resolved in some patients (28%), partially in most patients (64%) and of low or no efficacy in a few patients (8%).