Dry Needling for Pain, Muscle Tension, Injury Treatment, & More
What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?
Trigger point dry needling, often referred to as dry needling, is a physical therapy technique that treats the body’s neuromusculoskeletal systems. It’s an incredibly effective method of treating dysfunctions in muscle, fascia, and connective tissue.
During a dry needling session, your physical therapist inserts small needles into tight, sore spots within your muscles (also known as trigger points). When inserted, the needles cause the muscle to twitch. As a result:
Muscle pain and tension is released.
Blood flow to the region is increased.
Nerve communication is regulated.
Normal muscle function and strength is restored.
Muscles in the treated areas will begin to heal and your body will feel much better, often after only one short session.
What Does Dry Needling Treat?
Dry needling can be beneficial for nearly anyone, especially if you spend a lot of time in static positions such as sitting at a desk or standing. If you have problems with chronic tension headaches, our staff have even had patients whose pain was cured after one dry needling session.
In addition to everyday muscle and pain conditions, dry needling also effectively treats:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain and tension
- Shoulder pain and tension
- Tennis elbow and other injuries caused by overuse
- Sports injuries
- Hip and knee pain
- Muscle strains
Dry needling is an effective injury treatment for a number of other acute and chronic conditions, too.
What Are The Benefits of Dry Needling?
Dry needling won’t just make you feel better — it heals your body from the inside out. Many of the painful conditions we experience in our daily lives develop over time as muscle tissues try to adapt to trigger points within the body. This prevents your joints and spine from functioning properly, which ultimately results in pain. Dry needling gets to the root of that pain by releasing those trigger points.
Combining trigger point dry needling with other physical therapy techniques
When you combine dry needling with other conventional therapies, injury rehabilitation is sped up and normal function can be restored in a shorter amount of time. That’s why it’s such a great addition to physical therapy.
What Can I Expect During a Dry Needling Session? Does It Hurt?
First things first, you’ll undergo an evaluation. Our rehabilitation programs rely on an assessment of muscle tissue before dry needling can begin. Sometimes, there are underlying issues causing pain and dysfunction, and dry needling won’t make a difference for certain conditions.
It’s completely normal to feel anxious about your first dry needling session! Typically, you won’t feel pain when the needle is inserted. In most cases, each needle is inserted for a few short seconds (sometimes longer). When the muscle responds by twitching, it can invoke a short pain response. Many patients describe it as a tingling feeling or a dull ache. That sensation is part of the process, and the intensity of the sensation will vary dramatically from one person to the next. Many patients feel immediately relieved and relaxed.
You might feel some muscle soreness for a day or two, which is also normal.
Experience The Diamond Peak Difference
When performed by a skilled and trained physical therapist, dry needling is an effective, evidence-based therapeutic technique that delivers results. We want to help you feel better as quickly as possible, which is why all new dry needling patients must schedule an initial evaluation. The evaluation ensures you’re a good candidate for dry needling and allows our physical therapists to create the best rehabilitation program for your individual needs.
Dry needling also demands an advanced education, and patients should do their due diligence when choosing a specialist. Prior to being accepted into a trigger point dry needling class, a physical therapist must have at least two years of manual therapy experience. Then, the therapist completes 46 hours of face-to-face training time with a licensed instructor and demonstrates their abilities.
Dr. Gil Moreno de Mora is a highly trained physical therapist with decades of experience, and he has met these requirements after taking Dry Needling I and Advanced Dry Needling II. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, his physical therapy services focus on total body awareness and rehabilitation, not quick, surface-level fixes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Needling
Is dry needling the same as acupuncture?
It’s a common misconception, but dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of the balance of Yin and Yang. It usually treats local dysfunctions and uses specific energy meridians to approach the dysfunctions and restore energy to the body.
Dry needling treats the body’s neuromusculoskeletal systems that directly affect muscle function, joint mobility, muscle tightness, and symptoms of pain.
How long does a dry needling session take? How many sessions will I need?
The length of each session is unique to the patient and their pain, but a typical session lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Similarly, the number of sessions your condition requires will vary. Many people feel relief after a single session, and a full treatment cycle might require anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions.
Is dry needling a good addition to physical therapy?
Absolutely! In fact, we require dry needling to be combined with at least one additional therapy type. There’s a good reason behind that, too! When pain and tension has been decreased, further treatments can be carried out, such as stabilization and strengthening exercises.
For example, “tennis elbow” develops as a result of chronic irritation of the tendons in the forearm. As inflammation progresses, any activity in the area becomes painful. The muscles respond by tightening and shortening, causing further pain as a self-perpetuating condition develops. Dry needling can release trigger points in the affected tissues, stimulating the body’s natural healing process and restoring normal muscle length.
In addition to dry needling, physical therapy would help restore strength while teaching the patient about proper movement and mind body awareness, ideally preventing the condition from re-developing.
Will my insurance cover dry needling?
Every insurance policy covers different types of treatment, so you’ll have to confirm coverage with your health insurance provider.
For more information about the cost of dry needling therapy, call us at 970.593.1442 or send us a message and we’ll be in touch.