All posts in Dry Needling

Everything You Need to Know About Dry Needling for Shoulder Pain

Everything You Need to Know About Dry Needling for Shoulder Pain

Muscle imbalances are one of the leading problems related to shoulder pain. Quite often patients come into our Layton physical therapy office with shoulder pain related issues. We have found dry needling therapy for shoulder pain to be an effective treatment method. Identifying what is behind the shoulder pain allows our experts to create long-term treatments that will allow patients to find relief.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is common in the U.S. as we see patients come in with long-term shoulder pain quite often. Unfortunately we find that over 67% of patients will experience some type of shoulder pain throughout their lifetime. Pain caused from an accident, pain caused by improper posture, pain caused just by sleeping the wrong way can all be related to your problems with muscle aches. The shoulder is one area in the body that is connected to several other areas. The shoulder moves freely in several different directions. The mobility of the shoulder is what does leave it vulnerable to pain. Wear and tear from everyday use is one of the leading factors causing shoulder pain.

Dry Needling for Shoulder Pain

Imbalance of the muscles is one of the most common causes of limited mobility of the shoulder. We refer to pain of this type as “functional shoulder pain.” When you have inefficient shoulder function, it is easy to have muscles around the shoulder start hurting. The shoulder muscles can become overactive and can begin cramping. Other muscles then become inhibited and weaker. Having the imbalance of muscle function will cause trigger points to develop. We then use dry needling treatment to target the trigger points, which causes them to be stimulated and eventually release, letting go of the tension and pain. The imbalance of muscle function will place more stress on the shoulder joints, back, and neck.

What Does Shoulder Pain Feel Like?

Limited mobility and a dull ache are the two most common symptoms of shoulder pain. Painful knots around the shoulder and the shoulder blade are other common symptoms. While resting the shoulder can decrease pain, it is not always a treatment that is doable with today’s busy world. As soon as a patient gets into their normal activities, they often see the pain return. Prolonged muscle pain can lead to degenerative joint pain and postural changes.

How Dry Needling Treatment Works

Using a small filament needle, we gently insert it into the trigger point. The goal is to cause the trigger point to be stimulated to allow the myofascial trigger point to release. Producing this twitch from the knot will result in relaxation of the shoulder muscle pain. Patients will be able to find relief from pain and an increase in mobility of the shoulder. Using additional treatments, we are able to help patients find a way to receive long-term results and improve their overall shoulder mobility and function. To learn more about dry needling therapy for shoulder pain, or to schedule a consultation with our experts, contact our physical therapy office in Layton or Mountain Green today!


Utah Dry Needling Therapy for Neck Pain

At least 85% of the population will suffer from some sort of neck pain during their lifetime. When you are dealing with neck pain, the muscles can be sore to the touch, and it is common to have limited mobility and consistent pain throughout the day. Failure to treat neck pain can lead to pain in other areas of the body. Quite often hard knots will form, which can lead to additional pain that is consistent. Using dry needling, we can target these knots, which are called trigger points, and reduce the pain while improving mobility.

Neck Pain and Dry Needling

Dry needling is a treatment used to stimulate a trigger point. A small filament needle is gently inserted into the trigger point, helping the tight muscle bands to relax. If you have ongoing neck pain and limited mobility as a result, dry needling for patients with neck pain has been found to be an effective treatment.

Researching Dry Needling

Several research studies have been conducted pertaining to dry needling and it’s ability to provide long-term relief for muscle pain. Several studies have shown that patients who receive dry needling see an immediate decrease in pain, and within a week after their appointment, more than 65% of participants reported no pain. Dry needling does relax the tight muscles, allowing patients that ability to bend their heads forward and backwards, while also turning side to side without painful stretching of the neck muscles.

Dry Needling Appointments

Our clients often find that dry needling is one of the best treatment methods to help decrease pain and improve motion. Combining dry needling with other treatments and at-home therapy, we find that patients are able to manage their neck pain effectively. Our goal is to help our patients see improvements in their overall health, allowing you to perform your day-to-day functions without pain and limitation.

What’s Behind Your Pain?

If you are suffering from neck pain, you need to look at your lifestyle habits that could be leading to neck pain. Quite often we see patients in our Mountain Green and Layton physical therapy offices dealing with poor posture. In today’s world, people are sitting in front of computers for 10-12 hours a day, in a position of bad posture.

If you are dealing with long hours of repetitive movement, you can quickly see problems arise with your neck, shoulders, and back. If you aren’t sure what is causing you to have neck pain, contact our physical therapy office to schedule a consultation. Our experts will work with you to evaluate lifestyle factors that could be behind your problem. We often find patients deal with a number of issues that cause pain throughout the body including:

  • Poor Posture
  • No Exercise
  • Spine Degeneration
  • Muscle Imbalance
  • Mis-aligned spine
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Whiplash (injuries sustained in an auto crash)
  • Muscle strain related to sports or motion activity
  • Improper sleep


Identifying the source of your pain will make finding an effective treatment easier. If you are tired of chronic neck pain, contact our office to discuss dry needling for neck pain, and find out how it will get you back to the game of life!




Dealing With Winter Sports Injuries

winter sports injuries The snow season is in full swing in Utah! Despite low snow numbers, several ski resorts are up and running and the winter olympics are officially underway! If you are inspired to try out some fun winter sports because of the olympics, we want to remind you to implement the right safety precautions to prevent serious winter sports injuries. Approximately 3.8 million people suffer winter sports injuries yearly. Some of the common sports causing injuries include:

  • snowskiing
  • ice skating
  • hockey
  • snowboarding
  • sledding


Injuries can often be prevented with the right safety tips. Adding a helmet to your winter sport activity can help to prevent concussions, which are one of the largest injuries related to sports injuries. In fact, concussions are the leading cause of death and disability among skiiers and snowboarders.

Shoulder Injuries

A shoulder injury commonly occurs when you hit a hard surface. Shoulder injuries are common because the shoulder joint is more mobile from other joints, making it easy to slip out of place. When a shoulder becomes dislocated, it can lead to injuries of the nearby ligaments and muscles. Skiers and snowboarders commonly experience shoulder injuries, and can deal with lasting pain if not treated effectively.

Knee Injuries

Knees absorb the majority of shock to the body when performing winter sports. There are so many different ways to get hurt as the knees work hard during the course of sports. Stains and pain occur from overuse and years of use. Falling or bending of the knee can increase the risk of torn ligaments, torn meniscus, knee dislocation, and a fractured kneecap.

Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains and fractures impact more then 25,000 Americans daily. Snowboarders often see a fracture of the Talus bone, which is the heel bone on the outside of the ankle. While mild sprains and strains can be treated with ice packs, inflammation and swelling can often lead to serious long-term issues. Dry needling is one of several effective treatments used to increase range of motion, decrease pain, and improve mobility.

How to Prevent Winter Injuries

Injuries are common with winter sports, but they can be prevented with the right preparation and planing. There are several sports injury prevention tips to follow if you want to stay on the slopes:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Do not go alone
  • Stretch prior to participating in sports
  • Use the right form when performing winter sports
  • Scout the terrain prior to skiing or snowboarding
  • Understand your limits

If you have been injured due to participating in winter sports, call Layton Physical Therapy and sports medicine to discuss treatments and schedule a consultation.



Why Go to a Physical Therapist Before a Chiropractor

physical therapy vs chiropractic careWe often hear people claim physical therapy is the same as chiropractic treatment.  While both professionals deal with the treatment of pain and injury, the methods used and training of the physical therapist and chiropractor are drastically different. At Layton Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, we focus on identifying the most effective treatments for pain and inflammation. Our goal is to identify the treatments that work for your body and accelerate healing time.

Specializing in Soft Tissue Injuries

Physical therapists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries. We often work with soft tissue injuries related to the muscles, ligaments, fibrous tissue, tendons, nerves, fascia, blood vessels, and synovial membranes. Soft tissue injuries can occur from something as simple as failing to stretch before a workout to something more extreme. Soft tissue injuries commonly occur when you have an unexpected or uncontrolled movement, such as tripping while walking upstairs and injuring an ankle.

When you are dealing with a soft tissue injury, it is common to feel immediate pain or delayed swelling. Typically patients will have stiffness within 24-48 hours following the injury. The recovery time from a soft tissue injury varies based on the extent of the injury and the treatment plan you are following. In the majority of cases a grade 1 soft tissue injury normally recovers in about two weeks. A grade 2 injury can take upwards of four weeks. We recommend visiting our physical therapy office in Layton for additional information related to your injury. Our experts will work with you to determine the extent of the injury and figure out how to accelerate healing time to get you back to doing the activities you love.

Treatment of Soft Tissue Injuries

We use Dry Needling and a variety of techniques to effectively treat soft tissue injuries. We want to ensure you receive the best possible treatment for your injury. Physical therapy is designed to speed up the process for an injury and prevent long-term care and potential surgery needs. Our experts will discuss the best method with you regarding active rest, total immobility, and other needs for soft tissue rehabilitation. Having gentle, controlled motion and exercise is the best way to stimulate the overall healing process and prevent additional damage.

The use of specific manual therapy techniques is commonly used to restore motion to the impacted area. We will provide other treatments to reduce swelling and manage inflammation. Dry Needling is commonly used by our physical therapist to aid in managing pain, reducing inflammation, and restoring normal range of motion. In addition to a restorative treatment program, we will discuss at-home techniques you can do to aid in the healing process. Our goal is to restore the muscles ability to respond and move properly within the body.

What Chiropractors Provide

Chiropractors are different from physical therapists as they focus on adjustments and various techniques that may be able to reduce the pain in your body and assist in helping you move more freely. However, when it comes to long-term pain relief, chiropractors do not provide the same services you will receive from a physical therapist. Normally a chiropractic treatment can help patients feel good for a day or two, but often have the stiffness and pain return in a day or two. Without proper treatment for the injury sustained, the healing process will not work effectively. At Layton Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, we focus on helping your body return to its pre-injury status and help you become capable of withstanding the day-to-day forces you face in your life.


The Next Big Thing in Physical Therapy is Dry Needling

dry needling utahHave you considered using dry needling as part of your treatment plan? Dry needling is one of best treatments used to aid in reducing pain, strengthening the muscles, and helping you feel your best!

We have compiled a list of five things that you should know about dry needling:

  1. In the world of rehabilitation dry needling is a treatment strategy that is one of the most effective techniques. The practice has been around for decades, but recently has grown in popularity due to effective treatments in Neuro-Musclo-Skeletal function.
  2. With the improvements that continue with dry needling, it has helped out other models and methods for pain or dysfunction. These methods and models include; myofascial trigger point model, spinal segmental sensitization model, and the radiculopathy model.
  3. Dry needling has a major goal of making super sensitive structures in the body desensitized. Through desensitization, motion and function are restored to help the tissue receive a healing response.
  4. It may appear that dry needling resembles Acupuncture, however, it is completely different. Acupuncture is used to help the Flow of Energy find balance. Flow of Energy or Life Force flows in your body through pathways. dry needling is different in the sense that it treats neuromusculoskeletal systems by detecting the patterns of pain. It is all based upon a physical examination.
  5. There have been world class athletes that are being treated with dry needling. They have received pain and dysfunction relief through this technique. As dry needling grows in popularity, more patients are finding long-term pain relief from several ailments that have been bothering them for years.

Dry Needling: It’s History and Foundation

Dr. Janet Travell is credited with the conception of dry needling in the early 1940s. Dr. Travell was performing “wet needling” and discovered that dry needing at muscular trigger points and referral patterns provided similar results. She along with Dr. David G. Simon are credited with the creation of dry needling through their groundbreaking work of correct trigger point injection treatments.

Dry needling is defined as a “method using a filament needle to penetrate the skin.” The needle will stimulate the myofascial trigger point while also penetrating the muscular and connective tissues. By stimulating these trigger points the neuromusculoskeletal pain and impaired movements are managed and able to restore range of motion. If you are experiencing dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, dry needling is an effective treatment method.

dry needling layton

Dry Needling Benefits

The body manages stress in a variety of ways, one of which is holding stress in the muscles. Dry needling is one of the best treatment methods to relax the muscles by balancing the central nervous system. One out of two adults in the United States suffers from musculoskeletal disease. Adults over the age of 65 will end up dealing with twice the amount of musculoskeletal problems. Pain management methods often include medications and some massage treatments. The problem with such methods is that they do not identify the root cause of the pain. Dry needling not only focuses on eliminating the current ailment, but identifying what might be causing the problem initially.

Dry needling focuses on restoring range of motion, improving mobility, and offering pain relief. Dry needling treatments have been used on a variety of patients suffering from chronic aches and pains to several medical issues including MS.

Our team of experts works directly with our patients to ensure a correct treatment plan is developed. We use dry needling as a diagnostic instrument to find the muscle spasm and help it to stop contracting. Trigger points with contracting muscles will not show up in an x-ray, which is why dry needling is the best option available to find and stop the muscle from causing additional pain.

Dr. Alan Kerbs is certified in dry needling and can find areas deep within the muscle tissues where contracting is occurring. There are textures within the muscle groups that only a trained professional can feel to understand what is happening and how to treat it. Only a trained professional should perform dry needling.

How Dry Needling Differs from Acupuncture

dry needling Layton UTPain patterns and dysfunction are common in your muscles, and without correct treatment, they will end up leading to additional pain and ailments throughout the body. Dry needling is a treatment method designed to manage pain within the neuromusculoskeletal systems. Dr. Kerbs will perform a physical assessment during an examination to determine if dry needling is the best practice for your condition. We will take photographs and document changes within your body during treatment to show how dry needling has worked, and how it has been able to improve your body.

A common misconception about dry needling is that it is the same thing as acupuncture. This is not the case as the two treatments are designed to treat different conditions. Dry needling techniques are designed to focus on treating the root cause of a muscle pain while acupuncture is designed to find the flow of energy within a patient’s body. Acupuncturists will place needles in precise areas of the body where energy flows, focusing on balancing the energy throughout your body.

Acupuncture is primarily associated with Chinese Medicine with centuries of different practices spanning the centuries. Dry needling is a modern, scientific technique with research-based conclusions to effectively treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. While both treatments use needles, there are NO historical ties to one another as they are completely different treatments.

Why Dry Needling is an Effective Treatment

Now that you know the history and origins, you may be wondering if dry needling is a treatment method you should try? Here are some of the common questions we ask our clients when evaluating if you may be a patient for dry needling:

  1. Do you experience pain on a daily basis?
  2. Does your pain limit you from enjoying your day-to-day living?
  3. Are you currently taking medications to cope with muscle pain?

The truth is no amount of creams, muscle relaxers, patches, opioids, and heat-therapy pools will be enough to get to the root source that is causing pain within your muscles. We recommend you contact our Layton physical therapy office to schedule a consultation relating to dry needling. Upon receiving treatment, we always ask patients to be diligent with daily stretches assigned from Dr. Kerbs to assist in the overall healing process. Remember, aggressive stretching can hurt and can often make things worse, gentle stretching and following your individual patient treatment plan is the best way to restore mobility, reduce pain and inflammation, and finally get back to the game of life!

Contact Layton Physical Therapy today to schedule a dry needling consultation, 801.896.9624!