Dry needling is a therapy technique that physical therapists and licensed acupuncturists use as part of a treatment plan to help alleviate muscle tightness and reduce pain. It is a safe and effective procedure when performed by a trained provider, carries very little risk of infection and has been shown to be effective in improving movement and decreasing pain in musculoskeletal conditions.
During the treatment, physical therapists insert needles into trigger points to increase blood flow and release myofascial muscle tension. The needles are solid and don’t contain medication, which is why this technique is called “dry needling.” Dry needling may also be referred to as trigger point dry needling or intramuscular stimulation.
Patients who benefit from dry needling often report a decrease in their symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life as a result of treatment. It is important to note that the effects are usually not immediate and it may take up to two weeks for a patient to begin to see results. Research on the effectiveness of dry needling is still relatively new, but early evidence is promising and the technique is being used more frequently by physical therapists.
The procedure can be uncomfortable for some patients, but the needles are thinner than a medical syringe or a sewing needle and many patients don’t feel anything except a slight pressure or a pin prick sensation when the needle is inserted. Patients with certain symptoms or conditions should not receive dry needling, such as bleeding disorders, infections, open wounds or a severe fear of needles (trypanophobia). Contact your insurance to learn if dry needling is covered under your plan.dry needling north canton