Dry needling is a neurophysiological evidence-based treatment technique that requires effective manual assessment of the neuromuscular system. Physical therapists are well trained to utilize dry needling in conjunction with manual physical therapy interventions. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.
How Treatment is Performed
Your physical therapist will palpate through the muscle tissue in order to identify a trigger point within the muscle. These are identified through palpation of a taut band as well as reproduction of the pain that you are reporting. Once the trigger point is identified, the therapist will insert a small filiform needle through the skin and will move the needle into the trigger point.
Solid filiform needle of varying lengths depending on the depth of the tissue. Gloves are worn as a precaution and
to keep the site sterile.
What Does Dry Needling Feel Like?
Patients usually do not even feel the needle being inserted since it is much smaller than than ones used in any kind of injection or blood test. After the needle is inserted, the therapist will move the needle around which can cause the muscle to twitch. The twitch is brief but uncomfortable. This twitch is a desired response and means the therapist has penetrated a trigger point.
At any point during treatment the patient has the right to tell the treating therapist to stop.