If you have chronic pain that doesn’t respond to medication and physical therapy, you might want to consider alternative treatments. Your doctor may suggest that you try a physical therapy technique called dry needling to ease your painful muscles.
Let’s talk about how dry needling therapy works, why it works, and where you can go to find experienced practitioners who can perform this pain-relief treatment for you.
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling, which is also called trigger-point needling, is a modern medical technique adapted from traditional Chinese medicine. It is called “dry” because there is no liquid or medication involved.
Unlike acupuncture, dry needling scientifically targets identified muscle trigger points which are causing pain. The pain may be radiating to other areas of the body. Dry needling changes the way your brain communicates with these muscles by interfering with the nerves and by relaxing the tension in the muscle.
In dry needling, your therapist will insert a hair-thin needle into a muscle’s trigger point where the pain is localized. Your therapist will then carefully and gently manipulate the needle to unknot your muscle and relieve the pain. Afterward, the needle is removed, which is another difference with acupuncture – in which the needles stay in place for a certain length of time during the treatment session.
What Does Dry Needling Treat?
A physical therapist will usually use dry needling therapy as a complementary treatment for myofascial pain syndrome, in which an oversensitivity in a muscle’s trigger point can cause referred pain elsewhere in the body. A trigger point occurs when a muscle is stuck in a contracted state and will not relax.
These points are also called pain knots, because they feel like bumps in your muscles. Because of the contraction and tightness of these bumps in a muscle, your circulatory system is impeded. Nutrients and oxygen cannot be properly transported to your muscles.
Because of this improper transport of oxygen, patients with myofascial pain syndrome may also notice numbness. Dry needling unknots trigger points by relaxing the affected muscles, enabling proper blood flow. The therapist will wiggle the dry needle in the trigger point, forcing the muscle to stop contracting.
Benefits of Dry Needling
Many patients report remarkable pain relief after undergoing dry needling. In addition to trigger-point therapy, it is also an effective treatment for migraine headaches, jaw pain, back pain, and joint problems. Nighttime leg cramps and repetitive-motion disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can also be successfully treated with dry needling.
Dry Needling Therapy in Austin, Round Rock, and Manor, Texas
Dry needling is an emerging treatment option for patients who are suffering from chronic pain. Here at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness, we offer dry needling, hand therapy, general physical therapy, and occupational therapy for patients who are recovering from surgery or are trying to avoid having surgery.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled and experienced physical therapists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (512) 284-7192 or complete our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you achieve a life without pain.