Dry needling, also known as trigger point dry needling (TDN) ands intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a safe, effective and efficient treatment for:
- Relaxing myofascial trigger points, and
- Restoring normal muscle tone, muscle length, coordination, function and strength.
Dry needling resembles acupuncture in the respect that dry, solid filament needles are inserted under the skin. However, dry needling differs in the respect that it is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Whereas, acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Acupuncture involves the use of several needles inserted along pathways called meridians to achieve pain relief and alleviate inflammation by restoring the flow of Qi (energy). With dry needling, only one needle is used and it is inserted deeper into the skin and repeatedly manipulated in the trigger point in order to produce an involuntary spinal cord reflex, also known as a local twitch response (LTR). A trigger point is a tightly contracted, knotted band of muscle tissue, which is why people feel so much pain.
Dry needling releases that tension, which results in lasting muscle relaxation due to the release of shortened bands of muscle fibers for overactive (tight) muscles or the activation of under-active (weak) muscles. Deactivation of trigger points can bring immediate relief of symptoms, so the therapist can immediately train the muscles to work with the newly gained pain free range of motion.
Conditions Treated by Dry Needling
Dry needling is used to treat a variety of conditions including:
- Head and Neck Pain - including whiplash and headaches / migraines, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disk disease or osteoarthritis
- Otological (Ear) and Opthamological (Eye) Pain - including tinnitus and eye strain
- Dental (Teeth) and Orthodontic (Jaw and Occlusal) Pain - including cavities, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, tooth impaction and root problems
- Shoulder Pain - including rotator cuff muscle tears, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), tendonitis and impingement syndrome
- Elbow Pain - including lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow)
- Hand and Wrist Pain - including gamekeeper's thumb, DeQuervain's syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis
- Back and Hip Pain - including lumbar degenerative disc disease, arthritic changes and herniated discs
- Knee Pain - including degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis
- Shin / Ankle / Foot Pain - including shin splints, gout, metatarsalgia and Morton's neuroma
- Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
- Acute and Chronic Tendonitis
- Athletic and Sports-related Overuse Injuries
- Post-surgical Pain
- Post-traumatic Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA), and Work-related Injuries
- Other Chronic Pain Conditions
People with overuse injuries, work injuries, auto accident injuries, sports injuries or other chronic pain conditions who have good results with massage but are disappointed when the discomfort returns may find dry needling a great way to get more long lasting pain relief.
To experience the healing benefits of dry needling, call our office today or click here to schedule an appointment online.