Dry needling is a treatment used to relieve muscle pain due to trigger points (painful knots of contracted muscles) or myofascial pain syndrome (chronic referred pain due to trigger points). Trigger points commonly develop due to overuse, lack of use, or trauma to the muscles in question. Dry needling can also help improve range of movement.
For patients suffering from sore joints, dry needling may be able to break you out of the cycle of pain occurring at the joint and improve your mobility. This is because joint problems due to arthritis, herniated discs, muscle or ligament strains, and more are often accompanied by muscle tension and muscle spasms.
Dry needling – which causes knotted muscles to contract then relax – loosens tight muscles, eases joint pain, and improves blood flow to the affected area. Orthopedic patients suffering from knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and/or back pain have been successfully treated with dry needling.
The Procedure of Dry Needling
Dry needling involves inserting extremely thin needles into the muscle membrane (fascia) at the affected area to stimulate a healing response. The needles are gently manipulated and removed after a short period of time. The therapy creates a twitch response that depolarizes the tissue, causing the contracted muscle to relax. The micro tears caused by the needle prompts the body’s natural defenses to get to work, which can improve circulation and bring nutrient-rich blood to the site to boost tissue repair. Dry needling also helps to dissipate inflammatory mediators (the substances that gather in an area of inflammation).
Dry needling may cause some minor discomfort with the initial muscle contraction or twitch, but it quickly subsides. Dry needling treatments may need to be repeated to achieve the desired goals.
Dry needling may be accompanied by other forms of pain management therapies, including exercise, massage, hands-on manual therapy, and heat therapy.
About Dry Needling
It is called “dry” needling because no medication or solution is injected with the needle; it simply pierces the skin, targeting specific tissue beneath the skin.
The treatment may seem similar to acupuncture, but the two are very different therapeutic approaches. Acupuncture also involves the insertion of hair-thin needles at designated areas, but acupuncture aims to address pain by balancing a patient’s life energy (chi or Qi), which is believed to flow in distinct pathways throughout the body.
Dry needling, on the other hand, is primarily used to treat musculoskeletal disorders and follows scientifically based guidelines to alleviate pain by targeting and unknotting muscles at specific trigger points.
Dry Needling for Joint Pain in Austin, Round Rock, & Manor, Texas
We offer a comprehensive range of physical therapy and wellness services to promote healing and recovery from a wide range of orthopedic injuries and conditions.
If you have joint pain and would like more information about dry needling and the other treatment options available to you, call Endeavor Physical Therapy and Wellness at (512) 284-7192 or request an appointment now.