Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling, sometimes called trigger point dry needling or myofascial trigger point dry needling, is used by our certified (Cert-DN) physical therapists to treat myofascial pain. The word myofascial is a combination of two common medical terms; “myo” (referring to muscle) and “fascia” (which refers to the tissue that connects muscle).

The use of a thin filiform “dry” needle is inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle that are stiff or irritated. This point is simulated to cause a reset to the system. This reset helps release and relax tight stiff muscles and help to recruit underperforming musculature. It allows the therapist to target tissue that is not manually palpable as well as address dysfunction within they body with more efficient results.

Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain (neuropathic in origin) with very few side effects.

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Does it hurt?

A healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of this needle. However if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp (the "twitch" response).

What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

The objectives and philosophy behind the use of dry needling by our Cert-DN trained physical therapists is not based on ancient theories or tenets of traditional Chinese medicine. The performance of modern dry needling by physical therapists is based on Western Neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

However, both Dry Needling and Acupuncture use the same tool; a solid needle filament.

Who can benefit from Dry Needling?

Almost anyone experiencing a variety of pain from, but not limited to:

  • Migraine and tension-type headaches
  • Neck/Back pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Sciatica
  • Hip/Knee pain 
  • Muscle strains
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tennis/Golfer's Elbow
  • Overuse injuries
  • Joint and Disk problems
  • Tendinitis
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia (pain left behind by shingles)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Jaw and mouth problems (such as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD)

Are there any side effects to Dry Needling?

Side effects may vary among individuals. Typically, only mild muscle soreness or skin bruising.

Is Dry Needling covered by my health insurance?

In most cases it is a fee or cash-based service.