Dry needling is a treatment physical therapists use to release muscular trigger points and reduce pain emanating from them. Trigger points are often tender themselves, but they also refer pain to various parts of the body. For example, the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck may cause headache. Trigger points in the piriformis muscle in the buttock, may cause sciatic-like pain down the leg.
In dry needling, a specially-trained physical therapist inserts a small, thin, needle into the muscle being treated. If the muscle has minimal trigger points, this insertion typically causes minimal discomfort. With moderate to severe trigger points, patients may feel a sensation like a muscle cramp or quick twitch. This means the therapist has successfully targeted your trigger point. In the hours and days following treatment, you should notice a decrease in pain and muscle tension in the treated area.
Dry needling is effective as an element of treatment in acute or chronic sporting injuries, orthopedic impairments, spinal issues, and chronic pain conditions. To see if dry needling may be an effective part of your overall treatment, call (571) 312-6966 to schedule an evaluation.