What exactly is dry needling?
Dry Needling is a treatment technique that utilizes thin, solid filament needles to deactivate and desensitize the myofascial trigger points, or the knots in muscles and tissue that cause pain, decreased flexibility, and decreased function.
So is it similar to Acupuncture?
No… the only similarity is that dry needling and acupuncture use the same type of needle.
Dry needling is based on anatomy and neurophysiology, and its aim is to needle the altered or dysfunctional trigger points in order to improve or restore function. Traditional Acupuncture aims to promote health and restore “energetic balance” by stimulating certain acupuncture points found along certain meridians throughout the body.
How does it work? Does it hurt?
Using sterile, disposable needles, we insert the needle tip into a trigger point. When the needle tip hits a trigger point, an involuntary ‘local twitch’ happens in the muscle. This local twitch response is the most important part of deactivating the trigger point, because it confirms the source of dysfunction or pain.
As far as pain goes, most people do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response elicits a very brief cramping or aching sensation.
“After sitting in an awkward position at a football game, I woke up the next day with my back in knots. It hurt to sit at my computer at work and I was scared I would be in pain during my upcoming vacation. Physical Therapy Central was able to get me in for a treatment that afternoon. I was admittedly doubtful about dry needling, but the next day the pain was completely gone. I was able to enjoy my vacation pain and tension-free!” – Katherine M.
What types of problems does dry needling treat?
Muscle dysfunction can be a primary or secondary contributing factor of many musculoskeletal conditions. Thus, dry needling can benefit anyone suffering from headaches, neck pain, repetitive stress injuries, muscle tendonitis, rotator cuff impingement, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, sciatica, muscle strains, iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral dysfunction, and plantar fasciitis… just to name a few!
What Can Trigger Point Dry Needling at PT Central Do for You?
- Resolve seemingly hopeless issues, particularly for those who are dealing with chronic or persistent pain syndromes
- Allow you to perform your desired daily tasks, attend work, and participate in recreational activities you love, without pain
- Return you to your optimal level of function very quickly
How long does it take for the procedure to work? Will I be sore afterwards?
In some cases, decreased pain and improved mobility is immediate. Typically, it takes a few treatment sessions for a lasting positive effect. Again, we are working to create permanent changes in these trigger points so it may take a couple visits to decrease pain and restore optimal muscle function.
It is typical to experience soreness in the area treated for 1-2 days, but it’s quite tolerable for most people and is easily alleviated with cold/heat and stretching.
Our Oklahoma Dry Needling Locations
We see patients throughout central Oklahoma for trigger point dry needling and related treatments. PT Central’s service radius includes Oklahoma City, Stillwater, Shawnee, and many surrounding areas. All Physical Therapy Central locations offer TDN treatment by one or more certified therapists. If you have questions about if this treatment technique may benefit your condition, please e-mail us at LetsTalk@PTCentral.org and a Board Certified Physical Therapist can answer any questions that you may have. To schedule a dry needling appointment, click here.