Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy utilizes dry needling as one of the physical therapy techniques we use in the treatment of pain and impaired movement. Dry needling is also known as trigger point dry needling or as myofascial trigger point dry needling. Although many people assume dry needling and acupuncture are one and the same, dry needling is a different type of treatment than acupuncture is. Dry needling is used by physical therapists in order to treat muscular stiffness and pain.
What Is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a safe treatment method for patients that can be incorporated into traditional physical therapy treatments for certain musculoskeletal presentations. It isn’t typically too uncomfortable and is often very effective. Dry needling is a type of treatment physical therapists who have been certified in use to help with muscle stiffness.
How Does Dry Needling Work?
Dry needling focuses on muscle tissue, and its goal is to restore function, reduce pain, and inactivate trigger points. Dry needling is rarely used as a stand alone procedure but is often part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy interventions into treatment. It works by having a thin monofilament needle penetrate the skin and treat underlying muscular trigger points. This works to help treat impaired movement as well as managing neuromusculoskeletal pain.
What Is A Trigger Point?
Trigger points are tight bands in muscles that can cause local or referred tenderness and pain, decrease range of motion and disrupt function. When physical therapists use dry needling with trigger points or dysfunctional muscles, it can decrease this banding and tightness, as well as reduce local and referred pain.
What Is The Difference Between Dry Needling And Acupuncture?
It uses similar monofilament needles, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training.The key difference between acupuncture and dry needling is that the former is based on Eastern medicine the latter is based on Western medicine. Dry needling utilizes the evaluation of movement impairments, posture, and pain patterns through function and orthopedic tests.
Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, back pain, neck pain, headaches, hip, knee, elbow and shoulder pain. Even though research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.
What Does Dry Needling Treat?
Dry needling is almost always used as part of a larger treatment plan in order to increase your range of motion and alleviate muscle stiffness. Some of the issues that dry needling treats include:
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Jaw problems, like TMJ
- Spinal problems
- Pelvic pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Phantom pains
- Joint problems
- Disc problems
- Muscle strains
- Tennis elbow
- Muscle spasms
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- And more
Depending on your specific concerns, the amount of treatments you’ll need will vary. Some people only need a handful of treatments, while others need more. Dry needling treatments are spaced apart with enough time in order to allow your body to heal between treatments.
Are There Any People Who Shouldn’t Get Dry Needling?
Dry needling is helpful for a wide range of issues, but it isn’t recommended for everyone. You should consult with your doctor in order to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for dry needling. It’s generally recommended that people who are pregnant, afraid of needles, or who do not understand the treatment should not receive it.
Schedule Your Dry Needling Appointment
Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides dry needling as part of our physical therapy services, typically as part of a larger treatment plan. We have multiple different locations throughout Northern Utah. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how dry needling can help you.