Does dry needling hurt or help?

Dry needling is a treatment that is gaining popularity among physical therapists.
Steven Tran
October 5, 2022

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a treatment that is gaining popularity among physical therapists. Proponents of dry needling claim that it can help relieve pain and improve range of motion, while opponents claim that it is an ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment. So what exactly is dry needling? Dry needling is a technique in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. The needles are not injected with any medication; they are simply used to stimulate the muscles and trigger points. Dry needling is based on the theory that pain and muscle tension can be caused by myofascial trigger points or knots that form in the muscle tissue.

 

What does the research say?

There is a lot of debate surrounding dry needling, with some claiming that it is an incredibly effective treatment and others asserting that it is nothing more than a placebo. So, what does the research say? Generally speaking, the research on dry needling is quite positive. A systematic literature review found that dry needling effectively treated various musculoskeletal disorders, including neck pain, shoulder pain, and tennis elbow. Another study found that dry needling effectively reduced myofascial trigger points, which are knots forming muscles when overworked or injured. The study found that dry needling was especially effective in reducing the pain associated with trigger points. The research suggests that dry needling is an effective treatment for musculoskeletal disorders.

 

What are the benefits of dry needling?

Dry needling is a type of therapy that uses thin needles to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying muscles. The goal of dry needling is to relieve pain and improve function. Dry needling is thought to work by stimulating the release of chemicals that help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also help break up adhesions, or knots, in muscles. This can promote healing and improve the range of motion. Dry needling is a promising therapy for relieving pain and improving function.

 

What are the risks of dry needling?

Dry needling is a treatment that involves inserting a thin needle into the skin to target trigger points or knots of muscle that can form when muscles are tight. The goal is to release muscle tension and improve pain. Some risks are associated with dry needling, such as bruising, bleeding, and soreness at the needle sites. There is also a risk of puncturing the skin and causing an infection. In rare cases, dry needling can cause serious injuries, such as nerve damage or organ puncture. Dry needling is considered a safe treatment with few risks when performed by a trained professional. If you are considering dry needling for pain relief, consult your healthcare provider to see if it is right.

 

Conclusion

Dry needling can be an effective way to treat muscle pain and trigger points. However, working with a qualified practitioner who can properly assess your needs and target the right areas is important. Dry needling is not for everyone, and it's possible to experience discomfort during the procedure. But for many people, dry needling can significantly relieve chronic pain.

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