Pain can be debilitating, and sufferers are often willing to do whatever it takes to find relief, even if it involves being poked all over the body with tiny needles. Dry needling trigger point therapy is an effective drug-free treatment for muscle pain that has been used for decades. It is performed by physical therapists who are specially trained in the procedure. It is used by athletes and people suffering from musculoskeletal pain and chronic injuries. There is minimal discomfort while the treatment is being performed.
We use dry needling therapy for a variety of musculoskeletal issues. These include hip and back pain, neck and shoulder stiffness and pain in the heel. Dry needling therapy is most often performed as part of a comprehensive pain treatment plan that includes massage therapy, specific exercises and other techniques. If you are searching for an excellent treatment for chronic pain, dry needling therapy could work for you.
How Dry Needling Works
The reason it is called dry needling is that the needles do not inject anything into the body. They are the same needles used in acupuncture. These tiny sterile needles are inserted through the skin and into muscle tissue, targeting myofascial muscle points, or knots. They are also called trigger points and create debilitating inflammation and pain.
How dry needling works is not completely understood, but experts theorize that the needles stimulate electrical activity where they are inserted. This results in a muscle twitch, which is helpful for restoring normal muscle movement.
Relieve Tight Muscles And Improve Circulation
When we insert a dry needle into muscle tissue it increases blood flow, which is another way this treatment helps. By improving circulation, pain is decreased both in the muscle and in other parts of the body. Often, when a muscle is sore, it can provoke pain in other parts of the body, often called referred pain. Increased blood flow flushes out the area and decreases tension.
Natural Pain Relief
While pain medications have their place in relieving chronic pain, it is often in the best interest of the patient to use drug-free methods for obtaining relief. Dry needling trigger point therapy has been shown to increase the production of specific neurotransmitters. These include opiate peptides like beta-endorphins, which are natural pain killers made by the body. These neurotransmitters block the sensations of pain from reaching both the spinal cord and the brain.
Each individual is unique, so results vary. Some patients find relief of muscle soreness and mobility after only one treatment. Other patients need multiple sessions coupled with complementary treatments such as stretching exercises and massage therapy. There might be muscle soreness in the areas treated for one or two days after the treatment. It is also important that the patient wear loose clothing and keep the muscle moving.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and limited mobility, dry needling trigger point therapy might be just what the doctor ordered. Contact your health care provider and discover if it is right for you.