Dry Needling is a modern, evidence-based treatment technique performed by Doctors of Physical Therapy and physicians using fine, filiform needles in order to treat many different neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. The term 'Dry' means that no medication is used and this eliminates the risk of negative side effects typically seen with various injections or oral medications. Though the needles used are the same as acupuncture needles, it is not acupuncture or Oriental (eastern) Medicine. The needles are inserted in and around muscles, ligaments, tendons, scar tissue, and nerves that may be causing pain and dysfunction in order to elicit natural healing to occur by improving blood flow, break up fascial adhesions and restrictions, and reduce tissue sensitivity when combined with electrical stimulation.
Literature supports Dry Needling as an effective treatment for many conditions including myofascial trigger point pain, chronic pain, general muscle soreness, nerve pain, referred pain, mechanical pain, and headaches. Evidence also supports its effectiveness on joint pain, including arthritis of the shoulder, hip, and knee. Dry Needling can help anyone from young teens to older adults, from sedentary individuals and elite athletes.
Patients often do not even feel the needle being inserted due to its small diameter. In fact, it is roughly 1/8th the size of a hypodermic needle used to draw blood or perform injections. The effects can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months depending on the underlying pathophysiology. Conditions including clotting disorders and uncontrolled hypertension increase the chances of negative side effects and patients with these conditions or patients taking prescription blood thinners should speak with their physician before treatment.
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