Dry needling is a form of therapy that uses thin needles. The needles are inserted into muscles or near nerves that are painful. This relieves pain and promotes healing in certain musculoskeletal conditions.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether or not dry needling is the same as acupuncture. Dry needling is a modern practice for the treatment of pain. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice. As a result, they differ in a couple of ways. First, dry needling does not attempt to alter the flow of energy, or “Qi”, to treat disease. Also, it is used for neuro-musculoskeletal conditions such as joint and muscle pain or headaches. Acupuncture seeks to balance multiple body systems.
Dry needling can be effective for relieving pain, but it is rarely used on its own. When used along with other therapy techniques and exercise, it can help boost your recovery from injury. Some patients have reported pain relief after just one treatment, although, some individuals (especially those with chronic pain) saw improvement after three to four sessions. Some of the conditions it can help include:
- Athletic and sports related injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Muscle spasms
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Calf pain
- Forearm strain
Is Dry Needling for me?
It is important to know that dry needling is not appropriate for everyone. For example, pregnant women, people with hypotension (consistently low blood pressure), those who have a fear of needles, anyone currently taking anti-coagulants, or suffer from seizures. For most people, it’s a safe and effective way to augment your current therapy program. The most common side effect is slight bruising, or muscle soreness. Serious side effects can occur in less than 1 out of 10,000 treatments.
If you are considering dry needling as part of your therapy plan, you should know that certifications are not required by Arizona Law. However, therapists who have been certified have undergone extensive training that goes above and beyond what the law requires. Choosing a Certified Dry Needling Therapist means you are receiving the most knowledgable expert care available.
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