Dry needling is a special technique that physical therapists use for the treatment of movement impairments and pain. In this technique, a medication and injection-free needle is inserted into targeted areas of the muscles through the skin. Dry needling is also referred to as intramuscular manual therapy and trigger-point dry needling. We at the Advanced Manual Therapy Institute in Las Vegas often use this therapy in custom physical therapy plans we design for our patients. Here is some more information on what dry needling is, what trigger points are, and why you should try this therapy.
What Are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are taut bands of skeletal muscles located within larger muscle groups. These points are usually painful and touching them may cause referred pain in other parts of the body. Our Las Vegas therapists have vast expertise in dry needling and have helped many patients find relief from muscle stiffening and pain.
Types of Needles Used
In dry needling, a very thin filiform needle is inserted into the skin to stimulate the underlying trigger points and connective & muscular tissues. These needles allow physical therapists to target tissues and muscles that aren’t manually palpable.
We conduct this therapy in our state-of-the-art Las Vegas physical therapy institute in extremely hygienic surroundings. The physical therapist wears gloves and the required personal protective equipment (PPE) while treating the patient. We follow Standard Precautions, OSHA, and Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings standards.
Are Dry Needling and Acupuncture the Same?
This technique is commonly confused with acupuncture. But these two therapies are entirely different. Acupuncturists perform this procedure and it is based on ancient Chinese medicine. Dry needling, on the other hand is a research-based technique based on modern Western medicine principles.
We utilize the same size needles as the ones used by acupuncture therapists. However, in the dry needling procedure, we target the exact points of tightness within the bands of muscle tissue. Acupuncture typically focuses on the connection between the energy in the body and the meridian points.
It is extremely effective in the treatment of movement impairments and the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain. Our Las Vegas physical therapist will stimulate myofascial trigger points, generally with the goal of improving range of motion or relieving the patient’s pain.
Why You Should Consider Dry Needling Therapy
Inserting a fine needle into a trigger point or hypersensitive nodule results in a localized twitch response. This is a mechanical response. In addition, this therapy also creates neurological and chemical changes. The overall mechanisms continue to evolve.
There is strong evidence that the nerve stimulation that takes place during the treatment, helps block the pain stimuli from all the trigger points. Decreased pain combined with improved muscle mobility can help not just the body but the mind as well. Take a look at why you should try dry needling therapy in Las Vegas:
Relax Tight Muscles
Dry Needling acts like a reset button for tight muscles. The physical therapist can identify ‘trigger points’ or ‘knots’ and will use this procedure to help restore the normal length of the muscles. It alters electrical activity in that area. The twitch response caused by this electrical activity “resets” the muscle to its normal resting length.
Improve Blood Flow
While dry needling helps release tight muscles, it also improves blood flow. Tight muscles cause pain not just in a specific area, but in other parts of the body as well. During the process, the Las Vegas physical therapist will target the trigger points. Relaxed muscles help improve blood flow.
Reduce Pain and Release Neurotransmitters
Dry needling effectively releases neurotransmitters that help reduce pain. The therapy activates the body to quickly release beta-endorphins, dynorphins and, enkephalins (all of which are opiate peptides). They prevent the pain information transmission from the spinal cord to the brain.
Dry needling significantly improves your range of motion and gets you moving again. In addition, we have seen our patients’ range of motion improve considerably after this treatment. The dry needling releases the trigger points, reduces the referred pain, and increases the blood flow; all of these result in better range of motion.
Treat Chronic Pain
Dry needling can also treat acute and chronic pain. It’s generally part of a more comprehensive treatment plan to effectively manage conditions such as plantar fasciitis, headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, sciatica, tennis or golf elbow, and more. We treat sportspersons, cyclists and athletes that feel tightness and soreness after training or running, to maximize their performance.
Is Dry Needling for You?
At the Advanced Manual Therapy Institute in Las Vegas, we recommend dry needling for patients that don’t respond well to soft tissue mobilization or traditional stretching alone. This therapy can benefit anyone that has painful trigger points, or myofascial pain. Our expert physical therapists in Las Vegas design tailored treatment plans that combine dry needling with various stretches and exercises.
Dry needling offers greater benefits and the patient shows results much faster too. Most trigger points ‘break up’ over time, on their own. However, for some reason, others stick around, causing movement dysfunction and pain. In our experience, these points typically respond best to dry needling. Moreover, this treatment will be interspersed in a balanced manner with the rest of the treatments (physical therapy or otherwise) you have been prescribed by your doctor.
Generally, most of our patients respond within a few dry needling sessions, especially when combined with a specially designed exercise and stretching program. Some sportspersons might schedule more frequent treatments, as their event approaches. These professionals are highly attuned with their bodies and even seemingly minor changes can make a significant difference to their performance levels and mind. When you come to us for your needling therapy, you can rest assured that certified and highly experienced physical therapists in Las Vegas are handling your treatment.