Dry needling has been a known modality of physical therapy for quite some time now. It can be defined in simple terms as a skillful therapy that makes use of thin filiform needles that penetrate the skin to stimulate the underlying muscular trigger points as well as muscular and connective tissues. It is useful when there is a need for management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement problems. The general term dry needling has gradually evolved to be included in practices like “intramuscular stimulation,” “intramuscular manual therapy,” “functional dry needling (FDN),” and “trigger point needling.” The following facts clear a lot of dubiousness about the practice and can help the patient adapt to the technique in an informed manner.
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Dry needling is safe
Dry needling, when performed by a certified therapist or doctor, it is a completely safe practice. There should be a thorough discussion regarding the treatment plan with the professional and the patients should ask about the benefits, risks, and other treatment alternatives, just in case there are some unwanted side effects. Less than ten percent of the people seeking dry needling experience pain on the insertion of the needle, muscle soreness, bruising, or fatigue.
The professionals advise against this treatment for patients with a needle phobia, history of pneumothorax, metal allergy, vascular disease, or abnormal bleeding tendency. A skilled physical or physical therapist can help significantly by performing the procedure.
Dry needling is not the same as acupuncture
These practices are often mistaken to be synonymous. Though both use similar or almost identical tools, they have different theoretical purposes. Dry needling is completely based on traditional, studied, and tested practices of western medicine in order to restore normal muscle function. Whereas acupuncture is also part of various physical therapy modalities but its core lies upon the principles of eastern medicine.
The focus is on holistically restoring the chi or energy of the body to cure the painful symptoms. The practice of dry-needling is prescribed within medically-proven and measurable parameters, in accordance with our advanced training in musculoskeletal function.
It acts on trigger points
As mentioned above, the mechanism has been based on the practices of western medicine where definitive trigger points are treated according to the meridians on the body. The needles stimulate the points that help release the stress pent up in the muscles of the affected area. This kind of targeted treatment for the damaged or injures muscles and nerves proves to be efficient when looking at the bigger picture.
Trigger point therapy is a combination of manual manipulation as well as dry needling for effectively resolving the trigger points. Some researchers have hypothesized that the dry needling process improves the blood circulation to ease the muscle contraction and also helps block the pain signals to provide substantial relief.
It is extremely versatile
The procedure helps in relieving the pain caused by a plethora of conditions. When included in the treatment plan with other therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, heat therapy, and education it becomes an essential tool in resolving the pain. Some common examples of conditions it may treat are pain in the joints, tendinitis, repetitive motion disorders, pelvic pain, phantom pain, and post-herpetic neuralgia.
Finally, dry needling leaves little to no pain after
When the patient is getting the treatment, they might experience a slight twitch, and very few experience a tingling feeling or soreness. This can be eliminated easily through heat or a light massage on the affected area. Any kind of bruising or skin is rare but can be easily remedied with a handy pack of ice and is not harmful in any way.