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What Is Dry Needling?

UT Dry needlingOne of our latest treatments is dry needling. Dry needling is a procedure using a thin filament needle gently inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. The goal of dry needling is to focus on the contraction knot, which causes muscle tension and pain. Contraction knots occur as a result of neuromuscular dysfunction in areas where your body is prone to stress. One thing we need to make clear about dry needling is that it is NOT the same as acupuncture. While both treatments use needles, they have little else in common.

How Dry Needling is Different

While there are some people that argue dry needling is acupuncture, we want to be clear that they do have similarities but are different techniques. We are not certified acupuncturists and we do not practice acupuncture. Dry needling is based on Western medicine principles and it is used to treat sports injuries and other musculoskeletal problems.

Dr. Kerbs is certified in dry needling and has undergone extensive training to perform the practice. Our dry needling procedures are designed to provide lasting results to patients dealing with a variety of muscular problems. Everything about the way dry needling is performed is different from acupuncture. The needles are placed in different locations, they are applied differently and we target the knotty tissues in the muscles. Once a patient has received the treatment, the muscles start to relax. Oxygen is supplied to the muscle, decreasing the intensity of pain and allowing greater range of motion for patients.

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Dry needling uses fine filament needles that are gently inserted into the muscle. We identify the trigger points that require the use of the needle to help bring relief to that area. Inserting a needle into the trigger point will cause favorable biochemical changes, drastically reducing the pain an individual has been experiencing. Our goal is to help break the pain cycle and to help you move forward with your life.

Is Dry Needling Painful?

We often hear this question as there is a lot of misconception surrounding needles. Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The muscle will have a local twitch response as it is being told to “relax” by the needle. Sometimes the twitch of the muscle can be uncomfortable, but the twitch only lasts for a second as the muscle then starts to relax.

What Happens After Treatment?

Mild soreness is expected after dry needling. Normally the soreness lasts a few hours, but it can last longer than a day for patients with severe muscle problems. Our staff will send you home with specific treatment methods to prevent additional pain and to ensure you are able to stretch the muscles appropriately.

What Does Dry Needling Treat?

Our dry needling techniques are designed to work on a variety of muscles and pains you are dealing with. We have seen patients with knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and other issues find relief from dry needling. We recommend initiating dry needling as part of your overall rehabilitation program as it does help to break the pain cycle.

Our goal is focused on targeting the muscle that is permanently contracted. We identify those trigger points and use dry needling to bring relief. The goal is to help a muscle learn how to “reset” by targeting the knots and helping them loosen. We want to improve our patient’s health for the long-run. We want you to get back to doing what you love quicker, faster, and better than they used to be. If you have a specific injury that needs help, call Layton Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine today and get back to the game of life!

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