Dry needling is when a doctor injects tiny filiform needles (the same needle often used in acupuncture) into a trigger point. The basic idea is to “turn off” the trigger point. We all have trigger points, but only when they are active can they create symptoms. However, when the trigger point is deactivated, you will have more range of motion and function and less pain.
Deactivating Trigger Points
Researchers aren’t sure how the treatment works, but they believe it increases blood flow to the trigger spot, which reduces muscular contraction. Some believe that dry needling can also help inhibit pain signals.
Many people confuse dry needling with acupuncture because it uses needles to elicit a reaction, but the two procedures are entirely different. Acupuncture’s purpose is to unblock the body’s energy, known as Qi, and flow it through the body’s systems (i.e., nervous, circulatory, muscular, etc.). Dry needling does not adhere to the old acupuncture theory since it specifically concentrates on treating nerve and muscle pain.
While this technique is most recognised for relieving trigger point pain across the spine, practitioners have also utilised it to treat carpal tunnel syndrome and cervicogenic headaches.
Physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nurses, and physicians are all among the clinicians who use dry needling.
What To Know Before Your Session
There is no need to do anything unusual before a dry needling session. Many people report instant alleviation from their symptoms following their session (though the duration of remission might range from hours to weeks). Inquire with your physical therapist or clinician who does your dry needling if you should follow your treatment with an ice pack (“icing”) or heat, such as a heating pad.
It is natural to feel pain in your trigger point locations following therapy. Consult your practitioner about taking supplements like turmeric and arnica to assist in minimising swelling and bruising following dry needling therapy.
In addition, your practitioner will most likely advise you not to return for a repeat treatment in the same spot within 72 hours to allow your tissues to recover. Despite some residual stiffness, you should be able to drive home or return to work immediately following your dry needling session. You should follow a 6-week treatment plan that includes dry needling with additional therapies (such as different physical therapy modalities or spinal injection therapy) for best outcomes.
Many individuals are looking for innovative and safe ways to manage various health issues, and employing dry needling for lower back pain is among them. While additional clinical data is needed to fully establish the usefulness of dry needling for trigger points, the therapy is typically safe for most patients. However, you should first consult with your primary care physician to determine whether dry needling is an acceptable treatment for your low back discomfort. They will assist you in understanding your concerns regarding your current health status and medical background.