Though the name itself might not sound like something that falls in the realm of physical therapy, dry needling is a great option when looking for a therapy program to treat pain related diagnoses. It is a simple, cost-effective and efficient solution to many physical deficiencies.
Dry needling is a physical therapy practice that allows therapists to directly treat the deep and superficial tissues which are contributing to dysfunction. Fine filament needles help bypass restrictions from soft tissue and improve circulation to reduce chemicals signaling pain. By using a needle, trigger points are targeted more directly and accurately. Dry needling is different from acupuncture in that acupuncture comes from Eastern-based medicine and dry needling comes from Western-based medicine. The same “dry” needles, without medication or injections, are used in both practices.
Dry needling is often integrated into a wider rehabilitation plan and used in conjunction with other therapy treatments. Because it falls under the umbrella of physical therapy practices, dry needling is covered by most major insurances.
“Dry needling can play a role in improving physical function for a wide variety of people,” said Luke Collin, DPT, the Outpatient Therapy Coordinator for Innovate Physical Therapy. “It has benefits with most pain, acute muscle strains, chronic pain, tennis elbow, headaches and postural deficits.”
Typically, dry needling is used to treat a client one-to-two times per week at the beginning of treatment. Then the number of sessions is reduced as the therapy program progresses.
The best part is that not only does dry needling have a wide variety of benefits, it is also a simple and quick technique with minimal side effects.
“Dry needling itself is generally a short process,” said Collin, who has been certified in dry needling since 2014. “Most of the time it is done in just a few minutes.”
Dry needling is relatively painless, with a sensation that is often described as deep and achy. Side effects after a session can include muscular soreness, similar to soreness after a workout, and mild bruising. Though side effects of dry needling typically subside after 24 to 48 hours.
To find out if dry needling is the right therapy treatment for you, call (402) 682-4210 to speak to one of our skilled therapists and learn more about what other therapy treatments we offer.