What Is Dry Needling? How Could It Help Me?

dry needling Oct25th 2020

Dry needling is a service that all of our Physical Therapists here at ProTailored Physical Therapy are trained and certified to provide. Dry needling, while it sounds a little intimidating, is extremely safe and effective.

Dry needling is a medically-based treatment performed to decrease musculoskeletal pain and expedite the rehabilitation process. This technique is best used in conjunction with other rehabilitative techniques such as joint mobilization/manipulation, stretching, muscle re-education and strengthening.

Here, at ProTailored Physical Therapy, when dry needling, we employ the trigger point method. This means that our skilled physical therapists will find the areas where muscular tension is the greatest and insert the needle into myofascial trigger points. This is done to increase blood flow to these irritated tissues and promote healing – decreasing your stiffness, weakness, and pain.

Common questions regarding Dry Needling:

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a small area of shortened or tight muscular fibers located within a muscle.

Why do I have trigger points?

Trigger points can develop secondary to trauma or overuse.

Fun fact: The upper trapezius (shoulder musculature) commonly holds many trigger points as people commonly tense the shoulders with stress/anxiety.

What does dry needling feel like?

The needles utilized for dry needling are extremely fine – patients usually experience no to minimal pain with insertion of the needle. When needling trigger points, muscle contraction may occur involuntarily – most easily described as a muscle cramp.

What will I feel like after I’ve been dry needled?

It is common for the area that has been needled to feel a little heavy or full right after dry needling. This is because the process of dry needling increases blood flow to the area to promote healing. Some muscle tenderness is common the day after dry needling – and in days following that, patients often report a large reduction in pain and stiffness.

What needles are used for dry needling?

Unlike needles used to administer medication, the needles utilized during dry needling are solid and extremely fine.

Where all can dry needling be performed?

Dry needling can be performed on any skeletal muscle tissue.

Fun fact: At ProTailored Physical Therapy, we commonly dry needle the suboccipital musculature (muscles below the base of the skull). This is done to relieve tension throughout the musculature that is often responsible for headaches and neck pain. We have great success with this!

Dry needling at ProTailored Physical Therapy can be really beneficial for people suffering with (but not limited to):

  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Rib pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Elbow pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Hand pain
  • Thumb pain
  • Hip pain
  • Bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Calf pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • A lot of other conditions!

If you have any questions regarding dry needling and/or would like to start treatment – give ProTailored Physical Therapy a call today at (260) 739-0300!