Trigger Point Dry Needling
To bring the best quality care to our OrthoBethesda patients here in Bethesda, MD, and the surrounding area, we provide trigger point dry needling in conjunction with our physical therapy services. Trigger point dry needling — also called dry needling (DN) — involves inserting acupuncture needles directly into a muscular trigger point.
Composed of taut bands within the muscle, trigger points contribute to some of the painful symptoms our patient’s experience. When the needles are inserted, a biochemical change occurs that helps reduce pain. It should be noted, however, that DN is not the same technique as acupuncture.
What is Dry Needling (DN)?
Dry Needling involves the insertion of sterile, single-use acupuncture needles directly into myofascial (muscular) trigger points. Trigger points are composed of taut bands within the muscle, which cause and contribute to pain. Research studies have shown that inserting such needles into trigger points causes biochemical changes within the body, which help reduce pain.
Is Dry Needling The Same As Acupuncture?
Although DN uses the same needles as acupuncture, it is not the same technique. DN is strictly based upon Western medicine principles of treating myofascial trigger points, which are different from traditional acupuncture points.
How Dry Needling Work?
Pioneering studies by Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues have shown that inserting needles into trigger points causes biochemical changes that alleviate pain. It is essential to elicit local “twitch” responses within the muscle, which are the first step to breaking the pain cycle and releasing tight trigger points within muscles.
Is Dry Needling Painful?
The initial insertion of the needle does not usually cause any discomfort. The local twitch response can cause a brief painful reaction. Some patients describe this as an electric shock or a cramping sensation. It is important to remember that the therapeutic effect only occurs by eliciting the twitch response. Therefore, it is the desired reaction. Most patients describe the treatment as feeling uncomfortable, but not painful.
Are The Needles Sterile?
Yes. We only use sterile, single-use, disposable needles.
Are there any side effects/How quickly will it work?
It is common to feel some soreness post-treatment as with many manual therapy techniques, however, once this soreness has subsided there should be an improvement in the initial symptoms. Typically, soreness can last anywhere between 1 hour and 2 days post-treatment. Some patients require 1-2 DN sessions, while others require 8-10. Individual results will vary.
What Can I Do After the Treatment?
You may be advised to use heat or ice over the area after DN to help alleviate post-treatment soreness. You may need to temporarily modify your exercises or activities for 1 or 2 days afterward. DN is only one part of your treatment. Other therapy techniques will also be used, as appropriate, to gain the best results. You will be advised on the correct exercises to perform in conjunction with your treatment and these will be progressed over time in order to complete your rehabilitation.
Conditions Treated With Trigger Point Dry Needling
Our highly trained team of physical therapists uses a variety of techniques to achieve optimal outcomes depending on individual circumstances. Because no two patients are the same, we’ll personalize our treatment plans according to your specific needs. Dry needling is a technique we may recommend depending on your condition. It’s able to address a number of different musculoskeletal issues.
We’ve successfully treated a variety of conditions with DN, including:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder tension and posture issues
- Tightness or cramps in the calf region
- Pain in the buttock or leg
- Sciatic pain
- Hamstring strains
- Knee pain
- And more
Schedule Dry Needling Services Near You
We invite you to contact our OrthoBethesda Physical Therapy team to find out more about trigger point dry needling and other therapy services that we offer at our Bethesda, MD, treatment center. When you schedule your appointment, we’ll determine the best course of treatment, which could include dry needling. Call us today at (240) 482-2438 to learn more.