Dry Needling Information
Do you suffer from acute and chronic pain? Have you tried other therapies to reduce your pain and haven't found relief?
Beebe Physical Rehabilitation Services offers dry needling as a non-opioid method of pain relief. We hope this page serves as a resource to help you better understand what dry needling is and how it might help ease your pain. If you have additional questions or wish to make an appointment, please call (302) 645-3933.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a treatment approach where thin needles are specifically placed into muscles for the purpose of relief. It is called “dry” needling because nothing is injected into the skin; the therapy consists of the needles themselves.
Who Performs Dry Needling at Beebe?
There are now four physical therapists in the Beebe Healthcare network who have recently completed board-approved training programs for employing the techniques of dry needling to help manage this pain and disability.
What Pain Does it Treat?
One of the most common causes of pain treated by dry needling is called “myofascial pain.” Despite its name, it has nothing to do with the face — “myo” refers to muscles and “fascial” refers to a flexible substance called “fascia.”
Fascia wraps organs, muscles and just about everything else in our bodies in a stretchy, protective covering. Fascia is connected like a web throughout the body, so a problem in one area can generate pain in another. We use this interconnectedness to understand how compensation, weakness and poor movement patterns create further pain and disability.
How Does it Work?
Once irritated, this pain often manifests itself in irritable spots in the fascia called “trigger points.” These trigger points can be felt by touch, as the body often responds with a twitch when they’re compressed. It is believed that these trigger points are often the result of trauma to the body, whether that damage is muscular, skeletal or neurological in nature.
After a thorough evaluation of your neuromuscular and skeletal systems, the needle is used as an extension of our hands to help reduce the source of soreness and tissue dysfunction. Although the “trigger point” is often a component of the treatment, the trigger point itself is often a result of nerve-related dysfunction. Our nerves supply information throughout our entire body and drive us to be able to move and not suffer from pain. It is through this assessment that we can often successfully address the painful trigger point along with the root of the problem.
Does it Work?
A recent study this year in January in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation examined 11 randomized controlled trials about the effectiveness of dry needling in relieving lower back pain and concluded that there is a “moderate quality of evidence recommending dry needling over other treatments” to relieve lower back pain.
We’re still learning about the ways in which structures in our bodies can be responsible for pain, and through this discovery finding better opportunities to treat it.
Does the Pain Return?
Dry needling can be effective for treating pain associated with trigger points, but cannot prevent them. To do that, our team works with patients on creating healthy movement to prevent trigger points and other pain. The key to resolving the pain associated with trigger points is by finding and addressing the weakness and restricted movement that created the original strain. If this is not addressed, the trigger points will likely persist. As with most issues, there are no silver bullets or quick fixes, however, this manual method of resolving the pain associated with movement can expedite the recovery process.
When an injury leads to persisting pain, consider seeing a physical therapist who can work with you to build a plan that targets your pain at its root. This new service at Beebe allows us to holistically restore healthy pain-free movement and help you be your best.
If you have additional questions or wish to make an appointment, please call (302) 645-3933.