Functional Dry Needling is a technique performed by a certified Physical Therapist and involves the insertion of a thin filament needle to stimulate the healing process of soft tissues (muscle "trigger points", fascia, tendons and ligaments, etc.)
Research supports that dry needling acts as a form of physical therapy and improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.
What is a "Trigger Point"?
A myofascial "trigger point" is a hyperirritable point in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or "knot". This area becomes painful at the site and can also "radiate" in predictable patterns.
What is the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?
The objectives and philosophy behind the use of dry needling by physical therapists in Denver is not based on ancient theories or tenets of traditional Chinese medicine. The performance of modern dry needling by physical therapists is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Dry needling must be performed by a professional with a medical license.
Both dry needling and acupuncture do, however, use the same tool; a solid needle filament.
Does Dry Needling hurt?
No. Most people don't feel the insertion of the needle. As the needle is manipulated to elicit a twitch response, you may experience a very brief (less than a second) painful response that is often described as a deep ache or cramping sensation. Again, the LTR experience with dry needling is a desirable outcome leading to improved therapeutic outcomes.
Who can benefit and what are some conditions treated with Dry Needling?
- Sciatica / Piriformis Syndrome
- IT band syndrome
- Knee pain
- Neck/Back Pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis Elbow / Golfer's Elbow
- Chronic pain
- Athlete performance
Are there any side effects to Dry Needling?
Side effects may vary among individuals. Typically, only mild muscle soreness will be felt where the needle was inserted. "Needle soreness" is significantly different from the actual pain you are being treated for, and "needle soreness" should only last for about 24 hours. Skin bruising may occur less than 5% of the time.
What can I expect after my Dry Needling session?
You should notice instant improvements in range of motion, ease of movement, and decreased signs/symptoms. It is not uncommon to feel sore after the treatment in both the area treated and the associated referral pattern. Typically, this soreness only lasts between a few hours and a couple days. The soreness may be alleviated by applying ice or heat to the area and performing the specific stretches or exercises prescribed by your physical therapist.