WhatisDryNeedling?

Dry needling is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points (painful knots in muscles), tendons, ligaments, or near nerves in order to stimulate a healing response in painful musculoskeletal conditions. Dry needling is not acupuncture or Oriental Medicine; that is, it does not have the purpose of altering the flow of energy (“Qi”) along traditional Chinese meridians for the treatment of diseases. In fact, dry needling is a modern, science-based intervention for the treatment of pain and dysfunction in musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fascitis, or low-back pain.

IsDryNeedlingSafe?

Drowsiness, tiredness or dizziness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients (1-3%) and if affected, you are advised not to drive. Minor bleeding or brusing occurs after dry needling in 15-20% of treatments and is considered normal. Temporary pain during dry needling occurs in 60-70% of treatments. Existing symptoms can get worse after tx (less than 3% of patients); however, this is not necessarily a “bad” sign. Fainting can occur in certain head or neck regions. Dry needling is very safe; however, serious side effects can occur in less than 1 per 10,000 (less than 0.01%) treatments.
The most common serious side effect from dry needling is pneumothorax (lung collapse due to air
inside the chest wall). The symptoms of dry needling-induced pneumothorax commonly do not occur until after the treatment session, sometimes taking several hours to develop. The signs and symptoms of pneumothorax may include shortness of breath on exertion, increased breathing rate, chest pain, a dry cough, bluish discoloration of the skin, or excessive sweating. If such signs and/or symptoms occur, you should immediately contact your physical therapist or physician. Nerves or blood vessels may be damaged from dry needling which can result in pain, numbness or tingling; however, this is a very rare event and is usually temporary. Damage to internal organs has been reported in the medical literature following needling; however, these are extremely rare events (1 in 200,000).
All patients with any kind of pain problem will benefit from dry needling. This innovative pain treatment can be used to treat a variety of diagnoses including:
  1. Headaches / Migraines
  2. Neck pain
  3. Lateral and medial Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  4. Shoulder impingement syndrome
  5. Low back pain
  6. ITB syndrome
  7. Piriformis syndrome
  8. Sciatica
  9. Greater trochanteric bursitis
  10. Hamstring strain
  11. Groin strain
  12. Ankle sprain Plantar Fasciitis
  13. Carpal Tunnel
  14. Fibromyalgia
  15. Osteoarthritis
Dry needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and release underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.  Dry needling (DN) is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, and, diminish persistent peripheral nociceptive input, and reduce or restore impairments of body structure and function leading to improved activity and participation.

Precautions

  • Pregnancy.  We recommend to not use dry needling during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Bleeding disorders.  We recommend not to dry needle patients that have bleeding disorders.
  • Local infection.  We recommend not to use dry needling with patients that have local infection near or around the site.