For those who suffer from chronic pain, it can sometimes seem that physicians have little to offer. Pain negatively impacts our ability to enjoy life to its fullest. Yet many pain sufferers are left with the choice between addictive medications that carry a host of adverse side effects to simply bearing their pain.
There have to be better ways to manage pain than a lifetime of medications and agony. At Dosher Physical Therapy, we practice a medication-free technique for alleviating pain known as dry needling. In this article, we will explain what dry needling is, and how it can help you manage chronic pain.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling involves the insertion of monofilament needles into your body’s trigger points. A trigger point is a sensitive area of your muscle where pain occurs.
Trigger points can develop from both overusing and underusing your muscles. They can also be the result of trauma or injury. Importantly, trigger points are not necessarily where your pain occurs. For instance, if you have a trigger point in your neck, pain can radiate from this area into your shoulders, neck, or upper back.
While dry needling is not a painful process, you may experience slight muscle tension during this procedure.
During this treatment, dry needles are inserted into the trigger points in your affected muscles and are gently manipulated and removed. When dry needling is applied to a trigger point, it decreases banding and muscle tightness, while increasing blood flow to the affected region.
You can insert dry needles into multiple trigger points in your body.
How Does Dry Needling Help with Chronic Pain?
Dry needling has a long history of helping those suffering from chronic pain. As a minimally invasive procedure, it carries almost no risk of side effects. Unlike acupuncture, dry needling is not Eastern medicine. Rather it is a medically verified Western technique for pain reduction that must be performed by certified physical therapists.
The thin filament needles that are inserted into your affected tissues during dry needling both improve chronic pain and help with movement impairments.
Dry needling has a great track record when it comes to alleviating neuromusculoskeletal pain. Many of our patients who undergo dry needling at our practice discover that they need less medication to manage their pain following this procedure.
Chronic pain sufferers often experience headaches, back pain, neck pain, and jaw pain. When dry needling is used to treat those who experience chronic pain, they often report that they can reduce their intake of both over-the-counter and prescribed pain-relieving medications.
Dry needling is an effective way to reduce pain systems and improve muscular motor function, minimizing the need for medication and more invasive medical interventions such as surgery.
With dry needling procedures, you don’t receive medication. No solution or substance is injected into your skin—this is precisely why they refer to it as “dry” needling. Thin, painless needles are placed under your skin at target locations to relieve muscle tightness and increase blood flow to the tissues underneath.
Dry Needling from Dosher Physical Therapy
For over two decades, Dosher Physical Therapy has treated patients in the Greater Greenville, South Carolina community. While we offer a number of services from fall prevention to special spine treatments for neck and back pain, dry needling remains an important and effective procedure for us in the treatment of chronic pain.