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Therapists at Rehab 2 Perform have received their training through the field’s leading researchers and advocates for the practice of dry needling as a therapeutic tool.  

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is the practice of placing a thin monofilament needle into the skin and muscle at a myofascial trigger point.   A trigger point is an area of abnormally taut and contracted tissue that play a role in the production and maintenance of pain.  

How does it work?

The exact mechanism of dry needling is not known.  There is evidence to show mechanical and biochemical effects as a result of the intervention, which result in a favorable effect of pain.  Eliciting a local twitch response, a spinal cord reflex, is an essential step in this process.

What problems and conditions can dry needling address?

In addition to pain management, dry needling can address a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions that impact our range of motion, flexibility, strength, activity tolerance and ultimately performance.   These conditions include, but are not limited to back , neck and shoulder pain, headaches, muscle strains, tennis and golfer’s elbow, plantar fasciitis,  generic muscle tightness and sciatica.

What does a typical treatment consist of?

Your physical therapist will take a detailed subjective history and than perform a clinical exam including palpation of the affected area to determine if you’re a candidate for the procedure.  If treatment is indicated, the therapist will dry needle the affected area until all trigger points are adequately addressed.  Brief soft tissue mobilization (massage) will be performed following the treatment for further pain management , tissue relaxation and facilitation of the recovery and healing process.

Does dry needling hurt?

Most individuals do not feel the initial insertion of the needle.  As the needle approaches the trigger point and elicits the desired twitch response, most patients describe the sensation as a brief cramping or “shocking” sensation.  While some describe this as an uncomfortable part of the procedure, eliciting the twitch response as critical.

Are there any side effects and what I should I after the session?

Most patients report a generic muscle soreness or aching following the procedure  which typically resolves in 24 to 48 hours.  Your condition and reason for treatment will greatly impact the recommendations following the needling session and these will be discussed with you at your session.  Ice, heat, gentle stretches and activity modification are routinely advised.

How long does it take to work?

A typical session last roughly 30-45 minutes.  Results vary depending on condition being treated.   Some individuals will experience an immediate relief, while others take a few days or a few sessions to achieve adequate results.  A follow-up session is recommended one week after initial needling session to determine level of response  and appropriate follow-up care.

Does dry needling cure everything or do I need to perform “traditional” physical therapy as well?

Dry needling is a piece of the puzzle and your condition determines how large that piece is.  Typically, dry needling is utilized to break the pain cycle.  Once the pain cycle is broken, traditional physical therapy intervention is utilized to correct whatever dysfunction led you that state.

Are there any precautions or contraindications to treatment?

Yes, there are several conditions and individuals who are not candidates for dry needling.  Please contact out office to determine if you are a candidate.