Monday, January 7, 2013
Ascent Physical Therapy offers dry needling to manage pain. Read the faq below to find out if dry needling could be for you.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a procedure where solid filament (acupuncture) needles are inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial triggerpoint (also known as a knot).
The approach is based on Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles which are not to be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture .
What can Dry Needling help?
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Conditions which respond to dry needling include, but are not limited to:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetitive Strain Injuries
How does Dry Needling work?
The pioneering studies by Dr Shah and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health suggest that inserting a needle into trigger points causes favorable biochemical changes which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit a Local Twitch Response which is a spinal cord reflex and is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.
How does Dry Needling stop this cycle?
A spasmed muscle becomes a damaged muscle. Spasm reduces blood flow in the muscle. This means less oxygen and nutrients to the muscle. Muscle fibers die off and get replaced by scar tissue. This in turn holds the muscle tight, prevents muscle metabolites from leaving the muscle and causes continued spasm and pain.
Putting a needle into a spasmed muscle causes the muscle to relax.
What does Dry Needling feel like?
Generally, needle insertion is not felt, the local twitch response may provoke a very brief pain response. This has been described as cramping sensation. During treatment, patients commonly experience either a heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
The benefits of dry needling frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition.
Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
Are the needles sterile ?
Yes, only sterile disposable needles are used.
Are there any side effects?
Most patients report soreness in the treated area and referral zone lasting from a few hours to two days.
How long does it take for the procedure to work?
Typically, it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. We are trying to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any medication. Therefore, we are looking for a cumulative response to achieve a certain threshold after which the pain cycle is disturbed.
Once I am feeling better, how often do I need to come back to maintain my progress?
The musculoskeletal system is under constant pressure from gravity, stress, work etc. A regular exercise program combined with good posture can prevent many problems. If the pain returns, tune-up visits are recommended to treat and prevent injuries.
For further information or for an appointment please contact Ascent Physical Therapy (970) 949-9966