Healthy Minute: Non-Surgical Pain Relief: Dry Needling

Healthy Minute: Non-Surgical Pain Relief: Dry Needling

Every day millions of Americans suffer from muscle pain, often this pain is caused by an injury or overused muscles. This chronic pain can begin to affect your lifestyle, preventing you or your loved ones from doing the things that you love. Francis Nguyen, a dry needling trained physical therapist from DMOS Orthopaedic Centers, shares more about the treatment, how it can help resolve your muscle dysfunction and if it may be an option for you.

What is dry needling?
Many people experience muscle dysfunction that may cause pain. Dry needling is an effective therapy that uses needles to treat muscle pain by engaging trigger points.

What should I expect during a dry needling treatment?
As the name suggests, during a dry needling treatment your physical therapist will place needles into your muscles. Like acupuncture, the needles used during a dry needling treatment are filiform needles. These needles are usually about .25 mm which is smaller than your typical sewing and medical syringe needles. Because the needles are so thin and solid, they cause a minimal sensation when placed into the skin.

When your physical therapist inserts the needle into the muscle, the goal is to produce a local twitch response (LTR). This LTR will relieve the muscle trigger point and may reduce the pain you are experiencing.

“After a treatment, the goal is to see improvements such as increased range of motion and a decrease in symptoms,” said Nguyen. “In most cases, a patient may experience soreness after treatment but that typically only lasts between a few hours and a couple of days.”

How do I know if dry needling is right for me?
Dry needling has been successful with the following conditions:

  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Tendonitis
  • Knee Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Muscle Strains
  • Chronic Pain
  • And Many More

“Dry needling is generally used as a part of a larger treatment plan, but it can also be a stand-alone treatment depending on the wants and needs of the patient,” said Nguyen.

The results of dry needling can vary from person to person, Nguyen recommends consulting your physician or physical therapist to determine if this treatment is an option for you.