What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation, is the use of solid filament needles, or “noninjection” needles to stimulate specific reactions in an area of muscle tissue in order to alleviate pain.

The needles, similar to those used in acupuncture, are extremely fine and come in various lengths depending on the depth of the tissue being treated. A needle will penetrate the skin to reach muscular trigger points to produce a local twitch response (LTR), which is followed by a reflexive relaxation of the muscle. The needles are rarely felt when entering the skin, but discomfort may be felt for a couple of seconds.

Dry needling can be used to treat a variety of common conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, sciatica, back pain, tennis elbow and headaches (including migraines). It can also ease muscle spasms, tenderness and tightness. Dry needling can help control pain following trauma, sports-related injuries and nonsurgical interventions. It can also help improve movement impairments in patients who want to recover as quickly as possible or return to sports and improve musculoskeletal function.

Overall, it has been shown that when dry needling is incorporated into a treatment plan, musculoskeletal function is restored much more quickly. Generally, patients can expect to see positive results from dry needling after 2 to 4 sessions.

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