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Physical therapy using dry needling, effective in treating several musculoskeletal conditions, is becoming increasingly popular. Tiny needles are inserted into knots or trigger points in muscles and connective tissue to relieve pain and enhance function. A study in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that dry needling helped patients with knee osteoarthritis feel more comfortable and functional. The research also revealed that the effects of dry needling remained at least four weeks after treatment.
Small, subcutaneously inserted stainless steel needles are used in acupuncture and dry needling to treat pain. But they differ from one another, have different purposes, and provide different advantages. While dry needling is a form of Western medicine influenced by a contemporary understanding of science and the human body, acupuncture has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine.
The best option is to locate physical therapists trained in dry-needling techniques. These medical professionals can safely and effectively place needles to maximize potential benefits because they thoroughly understand the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. Physical therapists must adhere to insurance policies and other medical regulations, unlike other dry-needling practitioners who may not have to.
Dry needling is most effective with a more comprehensive treatment strategy that includes active aerobic and resistance exercise interventions. A patient’s range of motion may be improved by dry needling, enabling them to move more easily and hastening their recovery.
Needles are typically only left in the skin during dry needling therapy for brief periods. Depending on the provider, the time frame may change.
The speed at which the needle is inserted and removed determines how well this dry-needling method—also known as pistoning or sparrow pecking—works. The needle stimulates the trigger point for a brief period before being removed.
Some techniques center on the central and peripheral nervous systems. This method allows for the insertion of needles both into the painful area and its surroundings. The placement of the needles along nerve pathways may enhance the body’s capacity to control pain because nerves are responsible for transmitting pain.
Understanding how a medical procedure works and any potential risks or positive effects is crucial before starting any medical procedure. Always have a medical professional present during this conversation, such as your doctor or physical therapist. The good news is that many potential advantages outweigh the few risks of dry needling therapy.
Dry needling is most frequently used to treat mild to moderate pain, stiffness, or muscle spasms. It is the best treatment for sports injuries, muscle pain, and chronic conditions like fibromyalgia because many patients report improved flexibility and range of motion after the procedure. Exercise should be done in addition to dry needling; dry needling should not be done alone.
Even though needles are frightening, the fact that nothing is injected into your body when they are dry reduces the risk of allergic reactions or other complications. You might be able to avoid surgery and other invasive procedures with the help of these tiny needles, exercise, and dietary adjustments.
Dry needling does not need as long of a recovery period as other invasive treatment methods. Most people feel a brief sense of relief following a session. After the brief sessions, people frequently work out.
A session that involves movement will also include dry needling. Depending on your condition and the session’s objectives, the needling portion of the treatment session may begin, continue, or end. Before beginning the procedure, your physical therapist will review the technique, the location, and the number of needles used. Depending on your comfort level and the treatment’s objectives, they may begin by focusing on a small body area before moving on to deeper tissues in different body regions.
Dry needles are smaller than blood-drawing needles and are about the size of a hair follicle, so inserting them will be less painful. After the initial poke, the muscle might twitch, and you might experience a dull ache or a cramp. These sensations can be light to intense, like a deep tissue massage. It usually settles after 15 to 30 seconds. Over the following few days, you might also experience some soreness or ache similar to the soreness you get after working out. You are advised to continue active on the days following a dry needling procedure.
Various conditions, such as muscle strains, tendon pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, muscle spasms, TMJ dysfunction, and many others, can be treated with dry needling therapy. Many of our patients receive pain relief from the secure practice of dry needling. So you should visit Gold Medal Physiotherapy for more details about Dry needling/acupuncture.