What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a highly effective modality for the treatment of a multitude of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions, including, neck, back, shoulder and arm pain, headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain, and leg pain. There are many benefits, most often it is used to relieve pain and speed up healing.
How Does Dry Needling Work?
Dry needling IS NOT acupuncture. In dry needling, a very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into pain trigger points. It works by causing a microlesion within the tissue, breaking up shortened tissues, inhibiting the pain feedback loop, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. This provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal, which reduces pain.
Before Your First Treatment
Inform your doctor of conditions such as pregnancy, implanted devices, recent surgeries, infections, disease, or use of immunosuppressant medications or blood thinners, to determine if dry needling is for you.
Are Dry Needles Sterile?
Yes; we only use sterile, disposable needles.
Is Dry Needling Painful?
Dry needling uses a needle which is very thin, solid, and flexible, which allows it to be pushed through the skin, versus cutting into it. This helps reduce discomfort.
Occasionally, when the needle is inserted into the tissue, a local twitch response occurs; the sensation is normal, desirable, and brief. Many patients describe it as a little electric shock, cramp, or an aching sensation.
How Will I Feel After Dry Needling Treatment?
Many patients experience immediate relief of their symptoms and increased range of motion. Soreness may be felt immediately or the next day, typically lasting 1-2 days. Heat, light massage, and movement will help alleviate it. Mild bruising may occur at needling sites; icing the area will ease soreness. Skin discoloration may last several days, but is not harmful.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
This depends on your injury and overall health. We are attempting to create mechanical and biochemical changes WITHOUT ANY PHARMACOLOGICAL MEANS. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to break the pain cycle.
May I Continue to Exercise or Receive Other Treatment?
YES! Dry needling is one element of a full treatment program, which may include spinal adjustments, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, endurance training, stabilization and postural training.
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Is Dry Needling Covered by Insurance?
Unfortunately, dry needling is generally not covered by insurance. The assessment and adjustment often done in conjunction with needling is typically covered.
Risks of the Procedure:
Every medical treatment includes possible side effects and complications. While rare, these must be considered prior to giving verbal consent for treatment:
- It may cause post-needling soreness.
- Anytime a needle is used there is a risk of infection. Your doctor is certified in dry needling and will take precautions to minimize risk. Infections are extremely rare as we use only new, disposable, and sterile needles.
- A needle may be placed inadvertently in a superficial artery or vein, causing a small drop of blood and bruise to develop. This is only of concern if you are taking blood thinners.
- If a nerve is touched, a brief prickling sensation may be felt, which could last for a day or two.
- In rare cases, a needle may be placed close to the chest wall, causing pneumothorax (punctured lung), causing pain and shortness of breath. Severe cases may require hospitalization. .