Manual therapy techniques including myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, and stretching deliver favorable results in treatment of pain and spasm due to trigger points. However, occasionally the condition cannot be fully resolved with manual techniques & exercise alone. Dry needling is another technique that has shown to be a very effective procedure for releasing trigger points and persistent muscle spasm. Dry needling is often performed in conjunction with these other techniques. By using filament needles, therapists can manipulate and release deeper muscles which are difficult to reach using other techniques.
Dry needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or near nerves in order to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is not acupuncture or Oriental Medicine; that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy (Qi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases. In fact, dry needling is a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or low-back pain.
Patients may experience soreness after needling, which can last anywhere from a few hours to 2 days. It is suggested that patients use ice or moist heat to decrease this soreness. In addition, it is imperative that patients move the body part recently needled to decrease any soreness.
Typically, patients experience positive results in 3 sessions. However, additional sessions may be needed depending on the chronic nature of the condition and other contributing factors.