What is Dry Needling? Dry needling is the use of a solid filament needle to target myofascial trigger points. A myofascial trigger point consists of multiple muscle contracture knots, which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
How Does Dry Needling Work? Inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favorable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit so-called "local twitch responses."
What Can Dry Needling Treat? Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. These include (but are not limited to) neck, back, and shoulder pain, arm pain, headaches including migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain and leg pain.
Is the Procedure Painful? Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel more of a cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of local twitch responses and that is a good and desirable reaction.
What are the Side Effects? Most patients report soreness after the procedure, best described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically the soreness lasts between a few hours to a couple of days. Patients may also experience localized bruising.
What Should I Do After Having Dry Needling? Our recommendations vary depending on the amount of soreness you have and on the individual response to treatment. Recommendations may include applying heat, gentle stretches and modification of activities.
How Long Does it Take to Start Working? Typically it takes several visits for a positive reaction to take place. We are trying to cause mechanical and biochemical changes without any medications.