What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling (DN) is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain. It can promote healing after injury and improves a patient’s ability to move with less pain. DN is a therapeutic treatment that involves inserting a very thin filament needle into a “trigger point” or muscle spasm that refers pain to a specific area of the body.
It is a common misconception that dry needling is like acupuncture. Although the tool we use is similar in that it is a very thin needle, our evaluation process, treatment and goals of the technique are very different from acupuncture. Our therapists will evaluate your neuromuscular system (nerves and muscles) and treat specific muscle tissue with the overall goal of improving movement. Our physical therapists will fully evaluate the function of your neuromuscular system to determine what tissues are contributing to your painful limitations and apply the dry needling techniques to improve healing, decrease pain and increase your ability to perform activities without limitations.
Dry needling is not available at all locations and some local regulations may apply.
DN treatment of active trigger points improves healing time and reduces pain by:
- Increasing blood flow to the muscle tissue
- Improving muscle’s ability to stretch/relax with movement
- Decreasing tension in the muscles to help reduce pain and strain
- Deactivating painful trigger points
- Improve the brain’s ability to activate muscles, inhibit pain and improve function.
Muscular spasms and trigger points are common following an injury or degenerative process, and can compress nerves and surrounding tissues. Introducing a dry needle into these active trigger points can provide immediate and significant relief of symptoms.
Increased nerve compression can lead to irritation of the nerves and joints causing commonly treated conditions such as:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Tendonitis and muscle strain
- Neck pain and tension headaches
- Piriformis syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic pain
*Services are not available at all locations. Call or click the location page near you for that center’s services.
What to Expect
Every patient has a unique health history, diagnosis and personal goals. When you come for your first appointment, we will create a personalized treatment plan for you.
We work with most major insurance providers and do our best to help keep the paperwork pain-free. If you’d like to confirm your insurance coverage, please let us know and we can verify when you schedule. If your insurance provider requires a co-pay, we will ask for this payment at each visit. We accept payments by cash, check or credit card.
When to Arrive
On average, a patient’s first visit lasts about an hour. We typically ask patients to arrive 15 minutes early to sign-in, complete paperwork and/or change clothes.
What to Bring
On your first visit, you’ll need to bring your physician referral or prescription (if needed), your insurance card, your primary registration forms, your ID or driver’s license and your co-payment (as applicable). If desired, you may bring a change of clothing.
How it Works
During your first visit, your physical therapist will do an initial evaluation and discuss your plan of care. The therapist uses this information to set goals for your continued treatment. Physical therapy goals may include improved movement, strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as decreased pain. Your subsequent visits will focus on treatment that is based on your diagnosis and individualized goals.