If you are suffering from painful muscle knots, a physical therapist may use a treatment called dry needling. This treatment involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles directly into tight parts of your muscles known as trigger points. The needles help you move and feel better by releasing chemicals that reduce pain.
These needles are very thin, similar to a medical syringe or sewing needle. They may cause a feeling of a pin prick or mild pressure, but it is usually brief and doesn’t last long. The treatment also stimulates your body’s natural “healing response” as nutrient-rich blood flows to the area, enhancing tissue repair.
Licensed acupuncturists use needles to rebalance the flow of energy or “life force” (known as qi or chi) through pathways in your body called meridians. Acupuncture is used to treat many health conditions, including pain. Dry needling is a more modern technique that is based on neuro-anatomy and scientific study of the musculoskeletal system.
Physical therapists often combine dry needling with traditional therapy techniques to achieve a more complete recovery. For example, a competitive runner who could no longer run due to lumbar spine radiculopathy was able to return to the sport after just one session of dry needling. The runner no longer had to use pain medication and felt a significant improvement in her quality of life. dry needling north canton