Dry Needling

Empower Physical Therapy offers dry needling as a type of manual therapy for helping manage certain conditions that other manual therapy techniques may have difficulty treating. When performed by a physical therapist, dry needling involves the use of thin filiform needles inserted to target trigger points in the body. Dry needling can help to help relieve points of pain that your physical therapist cannot reach through manual therapy. Dry needling is different from acupuncture and is supported by a body of medical research. Dry needling can help with:

  • Pain or trigger points
  • Difficulty of movement or inability to move
  • Increasing a patient’s range of motion

Dry Needling in Physical Therapy

Dry Needling or DN, is also known as Intramuscular Manual Therapy or IMT. Some practitioners and researchers may refer to it as Trigger Point Dry Needling or TDN. When performed by a doctor of physical therapy in conjunction with manual therapies and other treatments, dry needling can allow for muscle spasms to relax, while inhibiting pain at both the local and larger systemic level. 

Many patients report feeling immediate relief from pain with dry needling. This relief can last anywhere from just a few hours to days or even weeks. Dry needling can also help to restore muscle function and range of motion by helping to take pain out of the equation. 

What Patients Can Expect From Dry Needling Therapy

Dry needling is also used as a complement to other manual therapies and treatments. The frequency of a patient’s dry needling treatments will be tailored to their specific needs and treatment plan. Following a thorough evaluation from your licensed physical therapist or doctor of physical therapy, a custom-tailored, personal treatment plan will be drawn up to meet your individual needs as a patient. This treatment plan may include dry needling. 

Following a dry needling treatment, many patients report feeling some soreness; this is normal and temporary. There may also be some bruising in the area of the treatment. The risk of infection from dry needling is remote, as only disposable, single-use, sterile needles are used for treatment. 

Conditions That Can Benefit From Dry Needling

There are many conditions that can benefit from dry needling in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques, other treatments, and exercises. These conditions include: 

  • Pain in the low back and pain in the neck 
  • Pain in the shoulders, arms, and hands including tendonitis, impingement, and other conditions associated with repetitive stress
  • Pain in the legs and hips, including sciatica and muscle spasms
  • Pain in the ankles and feet, including plantar fasciitis and tendonitis
  • Headache and pain in the jaw and face
  • Fibromyalgia

Please note: Dry needling may not available in all locations due to state regulations. 

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