Dry needling is the process of inserting a thin, filiform (acupuncture) needle directly into an area of a muscle that has developed a trigger point. Trigger points are hyper irritable areas of muscles that can cause significant pain and movement problems. This process is considered “dry” because it does not involve the use of medication or injections. Physical therapists must undergo specialized training beyond their Doctoral degree that allows them to perform Trigger Point Dry Needling. This includes extensive hands-on training and American Physical Therapy Association approved Certification.
You may be a candidate for this type of treatment if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
1. Do you live day to day on pain medications?
Pain can be a good thing because it tells us when something is wrong in our body.However, pain in your muscles that lasts for a long time may be a result of trigger points in your muscles.These can be fixed with dry needling instead of masked with pain medications
2. Do you rely on massage and other forms of brief relief from your pain?
Massage and other forms of manual trigger point release may take a long time to rectify the problem or not be effective at all. Dry needling can directly relax the trigger point and provide significant pain relief and muscle relaxation.
3. Are you looking for pain relief with minimal side effects?
The side effects of dry needling are very minimal and include achiness and general fatigue (much like working out would cause) These symptoms usually last 24-48 hours and ice is suggested to help.
4. Do you have decreased range of motion or freedom?
Often times trigger points (that painful muscle knot) can cause tightness and stiffness. That can then lead to the muscle shortening in length (loss of flexibility). Dry needling along with a stretching program can help you increase your range of motion and flexibility once more helping you become more free and get back to the things you were doing.
5. Do you want to be active and live a healthier lifestyle?
One thing is certain, chronic trigger points do not just go away. And not doing anything about them can have long-term effects on your body that are extremely hard to reverse. Dry needling can help take care of the pain and stretching can help you get the flexibility back and then you get back to living life!
Dry needling is not appropriate for every individual and certain medical conditions need to be taken into consideration. When utilized correctly, dry needling can be a powerful tool in reducing pain and restoring function. This therapeutic intervention is currently only offered in our Crystal Lake office by Alecia Grounds, PT, DPT. Dry needling is not something that is covered by insurance and costs $75 for an hour session. Call Crystal Lake Physical Therapy at (815)893-8480 or click below if you have any questions about whether this service could be a good fit for you or to schedule your appointment.
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Emily Craigen, owner of Crystal Lake Physical Therapy, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a local Crystal Lake resident who is excited to bring health and wellness to her community.