Sunday, November 6, 2016
Over the last few blogs, I have discussed several types of modalities that are fairly common in the training room. However, in this blog I will be talking about a modality that is less traditional than the previous ones. Dry needling is a type of modality that is common among physical therapists but is not something that you see performed in the training room.
What is dry needling? It is a type of trigger point release and can be used to achieve local twitch which releases muscle tension and pain.2 A trigger point is an aggravated spot in the muscle that is associated with a painful nodule or knot. Trigger points can be caused by poor posture, trauma, muscle overload, joint dysfunction and even repetitive motion. Eventually, this spot can become painful with movement and it can even feel like the pain is radiating. So how does dry needling exactly help fix these problems? Dry needling uses very thin filament needles and can help promote soft tissue healing. It also has the ability to reduce muscle tension, improve pain control, enable a patient return to active rehabilitation, and normalize electrical and biochemical dysfunction.
As stated earlier, the goal of dry needling is to achieve a local twitch, which is a type of muscle spasm. When the needle is inserted into your trigger point, a local twitch occurs and helps break the cycle of pain.1
Based on the indications of dry needling there are many kinds of people who would benefit from this unique type of therapeutic modality. Dry needling can relieve pain from those who suffer from acute/chronic injuries, headaches, neck/back/hip/knee pain, tendonitis, muscle spasms, strains and overuse injuries, etc.
Know that you are aware of some of the indications for dry needling, we will look at the contraindications, or reasons why you should not use dry needling. Some contraindications include vascular disease, diabetes, compromised immune system, abnormal bleeding tendency and the most important one, patients with needle phobia. It is important to have a willing patient anytime you decide to use this treatment.
Although sticking many needles into one’s body may not sound fun, there are many benefits to this type of treatment, as I stated earlier. Yes, it is a little less traditional than most modalities but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work or isn’t good for you. Dry needling might just be the one thing that you are missing from your treatment.
1 Dry Needling - Baylor Scott & White Health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.sw.org/physical-medicine-rehabilitation/dry-needling
2 Dry Needling | Neurosport Physical Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.neurosportphysicaltherapy.com/services/dry-needling
How Can Dry Needling Help My Recovery? - True Sports ... (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://truesportsphysicaltherapy.com/how-can-dry-needling-help-my-recovery/
WSSUGeriPT - Dry Needling for the Older Adult. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from https://wssugeript.wikispaces.com/Dry Needling for the Older Adult