Dry needling is a method that physical therapists often use to treat pain and mobility issues. It is a sensitive intervention in which a medical professional inserts a thin needle into the skin to stimulate the muscles underneath. The needle helps to stimulate the various trigger points that are causing the medical issue.
Dry needling is very different from acupuncture. Though these two techniques share the aim of pain relief for the patient, dry needling is vastly different in philosophy and practice.
While acupuncture practitioners believe in a “chi” life force and in releasing endorphins in the body for therapeutic purposes, dry needling specifically targets pressure points for pain relief and improvement of range of motion. Also, in acupuncture, the needles remain in the patient for a time; in dry needling, the needle is usually manipulated and then removed.
How Dry Needling Reduces Pain
Dry needling has many benefits in pain relief and beyond, such as the following:
Targeting Pain Triggers
The primary purpose of dry needling is pain relief. The needle releases the painful trigger points in the muscle tissue.
Additionally, this method is believed to trigger a healing response in the body that improves blood flow and increases the natural flow of oxygen into the muscles. The needles may also help to trigger the release of endorphins and thereby reduce pain.
As dry needling decreases pain on the trigger areas, it also improves the muscles’ ability to move. Because it can help improve blood flow, the muscles become less stiff – and this enables a more flexible range of movement than before the treatment began.
Speeding Up the Recovery Process
Patients who have had surgery or were injured in an accident can experience less pain immediately when undergoing a dry needling session. Most patients also feel the benefits after a dry needling therapy session, feeling their pain lessen and their flexibility increasing.
The patient therefore starts feeling better and enjoys a quicker recovery process. Also, many patients who add exercise to their dry needling therapy have reported an unexpectedly speedy recovery from their symptoms.
Treating Musculoskeletal Conditions
This therapy can be used to treat ailments concerned with movement dysfunction due to orthopedic conditions, including:
- Chronic muscle pain
- Lumbar (low back) pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and jaw pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
Compared to more traditional treatments for muscle pain and limited range of movement, dry needling therapies usually produce results at a much lower cost.
Reducing Reliance on Pills
Once you’ve received dry needling treatment, you should be able to take less and less pain medication. The long-lasting effects it has from targeting the trigger points should help reduce your dependence on painkillers.
Physical Therapy Medical Center in Austin
The benefits listed above are just a few of the many benefits patients have reported from dry needling therapy. Licensed medical professionals and physical therapists who practice this therapy offer practical and immediate pain relief for aching muscles and stiffness.
If you’d like to learn more about various types of physical therapy – including dry needling – and you want to find out whether you are a good candidate for a treatment session, contact our clinic at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness. We have convenient locations throughout Austin as well as in Round Rock and Manor.
You can fill out our online appointment request form now, or call us at (512) 284-7192. Let us help you achieve a more pain-free, active lifestyle once again!