Integrative Dry Needling Therapy
Dry Needling (DN), also known as Integrative Dry Needling (IDN) Therapy is a highly effective form of Physical therapy for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. Dry Needling is used for the treatment of pain, disability and dysfunction. It is effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction, such as inflammation, microcirculation, edema, tendinitis, contractures, trigger points, tissue adhesions, and various other nueromusculoskeletal conditions.
A comprehensive examination and evaluation of the neuromusculoskeletal system allows our providers to identify a musculoskeletal diagnoses. This allows us to develop a comprehensive treatment strategy for each individual patient.
How does Integrative Dry Needling work?
Integrative Dry Needling is not acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine) which is based on meridians. The dry needling technique is a modern, Western medical modality. Dry Needling treats primarily nueromusculoskeletal conditions, where a Chinese medicine practitioner works on balancing whole body systems.
A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues that are considered the generators of your pain. The proposed mechanism of action for Dry Needling is the creation of a micro lesion within the pathological tissue, breaking up shortened tissues, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, inducing a mild inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. This mechanical and neuromuscular effect provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal, which ultimately reduces pain.
What conditions can be treated?
- Acute and chronic tendinitis
- 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
- Many other nueromusculoskeletal conditions …
Dry Needling is just one modality used in conjunction with a variety of manual therapy techniques and prescriptive exercises, prescribed by your provider to restore you to optimal physical function. Dry Needling is only one component of a multidimensional treatment approach, geared at creating a successful outcome for you. At the Spine & Injury Clinic, your provider will address various nueromusculoskeletal conditions such as biomechanical muscle imbalances, postural dysfunctions, muscular flexibility limitations, strength deficits, swollen or stiff joints, and many other conditions. All of these conditions may require much more than just Dry Needling.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes, we only use sterile, disposable needles.
Is the procedure painful?
The fine filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible to allow for the needle to be pushed through the skin, versus cutting the skin. This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure. A local (muscle) twitch response may be felt once the needle is in the pathological tissue, but this sensation is normal and is felt for less than a second. Many patients describe this twitch response as a little electric shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation. The local twitch response is a good and desirable response, but is not the determining factor of a successful outcome. Your Physical Therapist (PT) will make every effort to make your experience comfortable and therapeutic.
How will I feel after my Dry Needling treatment?
This will vary, but many patients experience immediate relief of their symptoms and an increase in range of motion. Soreness can also be a common response from the needling, but does not occur with all people. Some individuals may experience a delayed onset of soreness later that day or the next. Many patients say the soreness is very similar to the feeling they experience a day or so after moderate exercise. The soreness, if present, will usually last 1/2 a day to, at most, 2 days. Mild bruising may occur at the needling sites and is more prevalent in certain parts of the body. Larger bruising may also occur, but is rare. Application of ice on the bruise will help with the soreness.
It is uncommon, but possible, that the treatment may temporarily increase your symptoms. This is not unusual, but if this continues past the 1-2 day window, inform your PT to allow adjustment of your program to enhance your comfort the next time. This does not mean that needling will not be beneficial to your condition.
Will I continue to do exercises or receive other Dry Needling treatments?
Yes, your personalized physical therapy program will still incorporate other traditional physical therapy methods including manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, endurance training, stabilization and posture training. Integrative dry needling can be a standalone treatment but, at The Spine & Injury Clinic, we believe the integration of all of the available tools and treatment techniques is important to the success of our patients.
How many Dry Needling treatments will I need?
This will depend on the category you fit in, which is determined by the state of the injury and your overall health. Remember we are attempting to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without medication or other pharmacological intervention. Therefore, we desire a cumulative response to break the pain cycle, which may take several treatment sessions. Your PT will be able to give you more insight after your evaluation.
What should/can I do after Dry Needling, should I avoid anything?
Our recommendations vary depending on the amount of soreness you have and on the individual response to the treatment. Recommendations may include increasing your water intake, applying heat or ice over the area, gentle stretches and/or modifications of activities.
Is Integrative Dry Needling treatment covered by my insurance?
This is a Physical Therapy treatment and is NOT acupuncture, therefore your coverage of Dry Needling should correspond with your Physical Therapy benefits. You can discuss this further with our administrative staff if you require more information.
Our Providers at the Spine & Injury Clinic specialize in individualized care to help you conquer your pain for good. If you are faced with chronic pain, or pain associated with daily activities, don’t hesitate to contact us and see what we can do for you!
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