Not Acupuncture, But a Safe Tool of Modern Western Medicine That is Supported by Research
If you’ve ever felt the relaxing benefit of a massage…only to feel tension and pain return relatively quickly, then Dry Needling may be something to consider for your chronic muscle tightness, spasms, trigger points or painful joints. Dry needling (or Trigger Point Needling) is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even injury prevention, with very few side effects.
What is dry needling?
Dry needling is different from acupuncture and is based on the Western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal system. Practitioners insert a thin filament needle into trigger points. Trigger points arise when a muscle is in dysfunction and can contribute to chronic pain and altered function. Research has shown that trigger points have excessive electrical activity that indicates increased tension. After needling, the electrical activity in the muscle often decreases and the muscle feels more relaxed.
Does dry needling hurt?
Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort when the needle is inserted; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the patient may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp – this is the “twitch” response. Typically, we see positive results within two to four treatment sessions, and that can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms. One of our former patients recently told us, “My muscles were sore for two days, and then I never felt my shoulder pain again.”
Start moving again
If you already have a doctor’s referral for physical therapy, schedule an appointment or call our Chicago office at (773) 907-3599 during regular business hours. We will discuss your symptoms and determine if dry needling can help you. For more information on functional dry needling, check out this video:
Want to accelerate your recovery? We’ve created a FREE guide for those who want to take charge of their own rehabilitation. Even if you haven’t decided on a physical therapist office, download Speed Up Your Recovery Before You Begin Physical Therapy and get expert advice on what you can do before you show up for your first appointment.