Integrative Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling 

Integrative dry needling is not acupuncture (traditional Chinese medicine). Similar needles are used in acupuncture techniques, but the philosophy is different. Integrative Dry Needling is based on neuro­anatomy and modem scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. A very fine filament needle is inserted through the skin and into the deeper tissues of the body.  Dry needling works by causing a micro lesion within the pathological tissue thus relaxing shortened tissues, inhibiting a reflex arc from the nervous system to the tissue, normalizing the inflammatory response, and centrally mediating the pain. This mechanical and neuromuscular effect provides an environment that enhances the body's ability to heal which ultimately reduces pain.

An Integrative Dry Needling evaluation allows our trained physical therapists to predict the prognosis of the treatments, such as how many treatments the patients will need and how long the symptom relief can be achieved.

Integrative Dry Needling, combined with physical therapy treatment, has been shown to help the following conditions:

  • Acute and chronic tendonitis
  • Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work-related injuries
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Headaches and whiplash
  • Lower back pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • TMJ
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Many other neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions

Please note: Integrative Dry Needling is just one modality used in conjunction with the variety of manual therapy techniques and prescriptive exercises prescribed by our manual physical therapist to restore you to optimal physical function. IDN is only one component of a multidimensional treatment approach, geared toward creating a successful outcome for you. 

Is Needling painful?

The fine filament needle is very thin, solid, and flexible, which allows for the needle to be pushed through the skin versus cutting the skin. This helps reduce any discomfort that may occur with the procedure. We strive to make the treatment virtually painless however at times a local twitch response of the muscle may be felt. When the needle is inserted into the pathological tissue the local twitch response sensation is normal and is felt only momentarily. Many patients describe this twitch response as a deep ache or cramp. These sensations are perfectly normal and even a desirable response. Your PT will make every effort to make your experience comfortable and therapeutic.

Why is Dry Needling Effective?

Local effects: Soft tissue dysfunction involves components of tissue inflammation, sensitized nerve tissue, scar tissue formation, tissue adhesion and deficiency of blood and lymphatic circulation.  Needling creates a lesion in the soft tissue which helps to create a physical stretching of the soft tissue. This lesion in the tissue activates the physiological response of remodeling of the injured and inflamed soft tissue. This remodeling involves reduction in the physical stress of the tissue (tissue tension), normalized local inflammation, and replacement of injured tissues with fresh tissue of the same type. Thus, promoting a healing response to the region that is needled. 

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