Needles Can Help Treat Muscle Pain

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a form of Physical Therapy used to treat muscle tissue. A fine, stainless steel needle is inserted through the skin and into the underlying muscle to stimulate trigger points. This stimulation helps release knotted muscles, increase blood flow to the affected area, and reduce pain.

How Is Dry Needling Different From Acupuncture?

Both use a needle to penetrate the skin to help relieve pain or treat certain health conditions. However, dry needling and acupuncture are different in terms of theory and application.

Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine and has been around for hundreds of years. The goal of acupuncture is to treat illness or pain by altering the flow of energy in the body by applying hollow needles along traditional body meridian lines. Acupuncture uses a hollow needle.

Dry needling is based on Western medicine and is relatively new. The goal of dry needling is to treat certain health conditions or pain by using those hollow needles on selectively targeted trigger points. Dry needling uses a solid filiform or non-injection needle in very small (fine gauge) sizes.

What Is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is an irritated band of muscle tissue that is tight, hard, or knotted due to stress, strain, or injury. When a trigger point is touched, it may cause pain in other parts of the body.

What Are the Benefits of Dry Needling?

Dry needling can help ease pain from sore or injured muscles. It can also help decrease stiffness, increase range of motion, and improve function of impaired muscles. It is often used as part of a broader treatment plan to help heal sports injuries and manage muscle pain and fibromyalgia pain.

What Are the Risks of Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a relatively low risk therapy. Patients may experience some pain at the application site, bruising, or bleeding.

Who Performs Dry Needling?

Dry needling does not currently have formal guidelines for standards of practice, so be sure to check the credentials of the person performing the service. When possible, opt for a licensed Physical Therapist or other medical professional who has experience and training in dry needling.

If you’d like to give dry needling a try, contact the Vereen Center today!