Dry needling is a practice that can be used to treat a variety of conditions ranging from muscle strains to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. It involves using tiny “dry” needles to stimulate the muscles and trigger points underneath the skin. They’re called dry needles because they’re hollow and are not used to inject liquid substances into the body.
Despite its popularity, dry needling is often confused with acupuncture. Both involve using small needles inserted into the skin, but the purposes and origins are very different. Acupuncture, a traditional Eastern medicinal practice first developed about 3,000 years ago, involves using small needles to manipulate the energy in someone’s body and promote pain relief as well as physical and emotional healing. Dry needling centers on using needles to stimulate the muscles and trigger points in the body, increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation.
What Conditions Can Dry Needling Be Used to Treat?
Conditions that can be treated by dry needling include:
- Back pain.
- Neck pain.
- Pelvic pain.
- Muscle pain or tension.
- Joint pain.
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Trigger points.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Repetitive overuse injuries.
Benefits of Dry Needling
If you’re dealing with muscle pain and tightness, dry needling offers several benefits, such as:
- Stimulating blood flow to muscles and trigger points.
- Decreasing muscle tension.
- Decreasing pain in the muscles and around trigger points.
- Reducing inflammation and swelling.
What to Expect During a Dry Needling Session
We understand that needles can be intimidating for some, and we’ll do our best to ensure your comfort during your dry needling sessions.
Dry needling does not hurt, but you may experience some soreness and muscle ache afterward, similar to post-workout soreness. You can expect to start noticing the effects of your dry needling sessions within the first 24 hours. You may notice that you can move with more flexibility and less pain.