Intramuscular therapy to treat musculoskeletal or myofascial pain.
Dry needling is an intramuscular therapy utilized to treat acute or chronic musculoskeletal, myofascial, or unexplained pain. Dry needling involves inserting a small needle into a sensitive area in the fascia, muscles, or surrounding tissues to achieve immediate and noticeable improvements in pain, range of motion, and your ability to comfortably and functionally move.
Benefits of Dry Needling
Dry Needling, or intramuscular therapy, uses trigger points to guide treatment. Different from acupuncture which uses "meridians" to guide treatment. Research has verified effectiveness of trigger points and dry needling.
Each session of dry needling starts by mapping your active trigger points. Once a trigger point is identified, the needle is inserted directly into the trigger point to effectively deactivate it. Improvements in pain and your ability to perform your sports or exercise can often occur after the first treatment. The more chronic the conditions take longer to resolve. In our experience, 90% of patients get some relief with trigger point dry needling.
Dry Needling FAQs:
What is Dry Needling?
You may have heard of a treatment called dry needling and wondered what exactly it is or if it’s something that may be right for you.
While the procedure's name may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting, and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Functional Dry Needling focuses on treating the structures that are causing discomfort and the decrease in mobility. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled, trained physical therapists certified in the procedure.
Does Dry Needling hurt?
You may feel cramping, aching sensation, or slight discomfort that lasts a few seconds. Electrical stimulation can be applied to the needles to bring even more blood flow to the tissues and relax the muscle tissue.
The needle's initial insertion is minimal and less invasive than a vaccination or having your blood drawn. If you experience soreness following dry needling, expect the soreness to last 24-48 hours.
How often should someone receive dry needling?
If treatment zones are found, and the correct muscle groups are targeted, sub-acute conditions will likely improve after three-four consecutive sessions, with chronic injuries often requiring five-six consecutive needling sessions.
Many athletes and weekend warriors who have had positive experiences with dry needling will come in every so often for a “tune-up” visit to make them feel more mobile while playing their sport.
Dry needling sounds like acupuncture. Are they the same?
The dry needling technique follows Western medical principles and approaches, so it is not acupuncture, an ancient practice based on Traditional Chinese Medicine that is thousands of years old. The similarity between the two practices is that both use very thin, solid filament needles. Each practice has a distinct methodology and approach.
Will you be sore after dry needling?
You may be sore initially after your dry needling treatment. Soreness can last for 24-48 hours. The soreness is often similar to muscle soreness after a vigorous workout at the gym.
How long is a Dry Needling Session?
Dry needling is usually just one aspect of a session of physical therapy. During a therapy session, one can expect to undergo other manual therapy methods (instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, joint manipulation/mobilization, cupping, myofascial release), corrective exercises, and any other form of therapy considered appropriate by your physical therapist.
A standard full treatment session lasts around one full hour, where the needling portion may take up 10-20 minutes of the session. There are times that patients who are experienced in undergoing dry needling treatment may undergo extensive needling, which can use up the entire hour.
How can I get started?
If you are interested in dry needling, you will need to have a prescription from your physician for physical therapy and dry needling.
Your physical therapist will determine whether dry needling is an appropriate form of treatment for your specific injury or type of pain at your first PT appointment. If needling is deemed appropriate, we will review your past medical history, medications, contraindications, risks, and treatment benefits before getting started.
Who will be performing my dry needling session?
Andrew Lantz, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CMTPT is our dry needling expert. He received his certification from Myopain Seminars in 2016 and has continued to train with world renowned manual therapist, James Dunning, at the Spinal Manipulation Institute. He treats a variety of injuries which can be acute or chronic in nature.
“Last October I tore my rotator cuff. I was told that I needed to have physical therapy. That is when I went to Restorative Therapy. Andrew Lantz was my therapist. Andrew was spot on finding my level of pain and discomfort. He used dry needling to ease the pain. He worked my shoulder and arm with various exercise routines. I had full recovery and was able to avoid surgery. I would recommend Andrew and the staff of Restorative Therapy in a heartbeat. I always looked forward to my appointment. The staff is very friendly. Thank you, Andrew, for all your help.”