Why Dry Needling Has Become a Popular Physical Therapy Treatment Over the Years

Physical therapy can treat many different illnesses and medical conditions. There is lymphedema physical therapy. There is physical therapy for people who have had a stroke. There is even physical therapy for people who have chronic myofascial pain, i.e., pain from the fascial tissues that surround the muscles. One of the most common physical therapy treatments for myofascial pain is dry needling.

The History Behind Dry Needling

The word “dry” in dry needling means that the needles are not administering any medication, as a “wet” hypodermic needle would. Rather, it is the insertion of the needles themselves that is therapeutic. The fine needles used in dry needling physical therapy are similar to those used in acupuncture, but while the end goal of relieving pain is the same, dry needling and acupuncture have little to do with one another.

The first person credited with attempting modern dry needling for pain relief was Dr. Janet Travell, who later became the White House physician to President John F. Kennedy. Certainly, Dr. Travell coined the term “dry needling” in the 1940s and found that it was just as effective as “wet needling” with medications.

Dr. Travell used dry needling to relieve pain by injecting trigger points. Later researchers believed that the nerve roots that connect to the spinal cord were the source of chronic pain and developed the radiculopathy approach to dry needling. Further research showed that there is no conflict between the different theories behind dry needling. The physiology is the same no matter the approach.

Benefits of Dry Needling

You may ask yourself, “Should I go to physical therapy near me for dry needling?” If you have chronic pain, it is a good idea to see a physical therapist for an assessment to determine the cause of your pain. If your therapist decides that you are a good candidate for dry needling, it offers many potential benefits.

Dry needling may help improve your range of motion and increase your flexibility by releasing your trigger points. Not only does it relieve pain, but it can also help your muscles become less stiff. If performed by a provider trained in dry needling, it has a low risk of complications and is safe. It is also a relatively inexpensive procedure.

Dry needling is versatile and used to treat many conditions, including whiplash, migraines, tendonitis, and chronic muscle spasms. Dry needling of the jaw can treat temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD. In addition to relieving the pain, it also helps to accelerate healing and recovery from injuries. It accomplishes this by stimulating blood flow to the site of the pain or injury. The blood brings nutrients and immune cells with it that help to heal the damage. Adequate circulation is essential for healing any type of injury, and poor blood flow can delay healing.

In some form or other, modern dry needling has been around for approximately 80 years. If you are interested in dry needling, make sure to find a physical therapist who is trained and experienced in performing it.

Leave a Comment