Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates reminds patients that one of our effective services is the practice known as trigger point dry needling. If you’ve never heard of dry needling and are curious as to how it can be used to treat your condition, then please read on for a breakdown of this important technique used for an array of physical problems.
Trigger point dry needling shares some similarities with traditional Chinese acupuncture, as both techniques insert the same type of thin filament needles into muscles. Dry needling, however, requires a different type of training and is not used holistically to treat imbalances in the body, like acupuncture. Instead, dry needling is primarily used as a supplemental tool in physical therapy for musculoskeletal purposes, and the goal is to “reset” an affected muscle, which reduces pain and restores its normal function.
This therapeutic treatment procedure is effective for both acute (brief) and chronic (long-term) pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and injury prevention, and has minimal side effects. Here’s how it works:
- A thin needle is inserted into a muscle; healthy muscles will produce little discomfort while sensitive ones will react with a muscle cramp-like pain due to trigger points, or hyper-irritated muscle tissue
- With a needle placed in a trigger point, a “twitch response” will arise, which is similar to the pain the patient normally experiences in that area
- This pain sensation usually indicates effective treatment, and will deactivate the trigger point
- Deactivating the trigger point will in turn “reset” that muscle, reducing pain and restoring its normal length and function
- Positive outcomes are normally noticed within 2-4 treatment sessions
Using dry needling in combination with deep tissue massage and other special release techniques for tight muscles, physical therapists find particular success in treating headaches, neck pain, back pain and soft tissue pain from a variety of causes. If dry needling is considered an option your case, we will educate you further on what the treatment entails and then discuss whether or not it’s a good option for you.
If you are interested in dry needling, or if you have any general muscular aches or pains, visit Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates at either of our two locations in Shelby or Kings Mountain, NC. Call 704-471-0001 to schedule an appointment.